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The Story Behind Dolly Parton’s Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader Uniform: ‘Dolly Didn’t Tell or Show Anyone’

Three cheers for Dolly Parton! The superstar set tongues wagging and jaws dropping when she appeared at the Dallas Cowboys’ halftime show on Thanksgiving wearing a Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders outfit.

Parton donned the squad’s trademark cropped blue top with a short white vest and tiny white shorts. Being Parton, she completed the look with pantyhose and sheer midriff covering, both blinged out with rhinestones.

She took the field to perform a truncated set of “Jolene,” “9 to 5” and “We Are the Champions/We Will Rock You.”

Parton had rehearsed the routine on a stage in Nashville for a week, but it wasn’t until right before she took the field in Dallas that even her manager found out what she was going to wear.

“Dolly didn’t tell or show anyone that she was going to dress as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader until it was time to go to the stage,” Parton’s manager Danny Nozell tells Billboard. “It was completely her idea. She waited until right before she went to stage and came out of the dressing room to show us all. When she came out, myself, the security and my staff fainted. I couldn’t tell the difference between Dolly and the cheerleaders. That is the genius of Dolly, and people are still talking about it.”

They’re still listening to her new album too. The halftime appearance was part of a promotional blitz for the 30-track Rockstar, released Nov. 17, which debuted at a career-high No. 3 on the all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart, surpassing Parton’s previous high of No. 6 for both 2014’s Blue Smoke and 1987’s Trio, a collab with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris. With 128,000 equivalent album units, Rockstar also blasted in at No. 1 on Billboard’s Top Country Albums, Top Rock & Alternative Albums, Top Rock Albums and Top Album Sales charts.

Parton did more than just perform in Dallas: She also donated $1 million to the Red Kettle campaign with the Salvation Army, which kicked off its annual fundraising drive during the Cowboys’ halftime.

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