Dolly Parton brings faith to 2019 CMA Awards with for King & Country, Zach Williams

For King & Country and Dolly Parton
Joel Smallbone and Luke Smallbone of For King & Country and Dolly Parton (M) perform onstage during the 53rd annual CMA Awards at the Music City Center on November 13, 2019 in Nashville, Tennessee. |

Country icon Dolly Parton took her peers to church with three powerful Christian performances at the 2019 CMA Awards show.

Along with co-hosting the Wednesday show with Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntire, Parton hit the stage for a Christian medley. The performance began with for King & Country and their collaboration "God Only Knows." 

The brother duo started off the performance and Parton joined them in for the chorus. for King & Country’s powerful Christian lyrics and vocals along with Parton’s soulful country flavor brought a new twist to the hit song. When they first recorded the song and a video together, Parton said it was "one of the best songs I've ever heard." 

“God Only Knows” was recently awarded “Song of the Year” at the K-LOVE Awards and is the band's longest-charting No. 1 hit on the Billboard Christian Airplay chart. With over 202 million radio impressions and over 25 million streams across all digital platforms, the single reached famous producer Timbaland, who made a remix of the song. 

Zach Williams
Williams with Dolly Parton during the CMA Awards rehearsals, 2019. |

After belting out the chorus of the inspiring tune, Parton then pivoted to another collaboration, with Christian rocker Zach Williams singing his hit song, "There Was Jesus."

“There was Jesus / In the fire, in the flood / There was Jesus / Always is and always was,” the song declares.

The single with the country icon was recently released on his sophomore album, Rescue Story.

“What an amazing honor to share the stage with you, thank you so much,” Williams wrote to Parton on Instagram after the performance. 

Billboard reported that Parton “inspired” the 2019 CMA crowd during her faith-filled medley, which ended with Parton, backed by a gospel choir, leading the classic song, “Faith.”

"Faith" was originally written and performed by John Hiatt in 1987 under the title, "Have a Little Faith in Me." Parton did a remix of the song last month with with Swedish dance duo Galantis and Dutch rapper Mr. Probz. 

In a recent interview with The Christian Post, Parton proclaimed that her purpose in life is to “do something for God.” The singer said, “Until He says stop, I’ll keep going.”

“I'm going to try to get more into doing more uplifting songs,” she told CP. “Just like 'God Only Knows' and 'Have a Little Faith in Me' and 'There was Jesus.' Not all religious songs, but just songs that are kinder, more fun, more uplifting, make you feel good about yourself, make you feel good about life and other people. I’m hoping to try to spread a little light.”

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