Dolly Parton asks fans to 'pray for peace' over war in Ukraine

"I want us to send our love and hope"


Words: Alastair James; picture: Butterfly (Run Rose Run album art)

Dolly Parton has asked people to "pray for peace" and to send love to the people of Ukraine as she dedicated the Academy of Country Music Awards to the besieged country.

The show, which took place in Las Vegas last night (7 March) was hosted by the 'Jolene' singer, 76, as well as fellow country music stars Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett.

Taking to the stage to open the show, dressed in what she joked looked like a disco ball, Dolly asked: "I wanted to shine tonight, did I make it?"

"Pray for peace around this crazy old world"

She continued: "I love to laugh, I love to joke. We're going to have a good time tonight. But I do want us, before we get started with all our fun, to take a serious moment.

"Now, I don't want to be political, and this is not - I'd rather pass a kidney stone than do that. But I want us to send our love and hope to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine," which was met with a large cheer from the crowd.

"So why don't we just dedicate this entire show to them and pray for peace around this crazy old world," the '9 to 5' songwriter added. 

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The war waged by Russia and Vladimir Putin on Ukraine has entered its second week and there are reports from the UN that over two million people have fled the country - mostly women and children. 

In some cities, such as the southern city of Mariupol, people have been trapped by Russian bombardments and left without access to food, water, and power for over a week, as reported by the BBC

Even before Russia invaded at the end of February, there were concerns among Ukraine's LGBTQs that they would be targeted by Russia. American intelligence suggests Russia has a 'kill list' of dissidents, which included LGBTQ Ukrainians. 

One Ukrainian citizen told People that if Kyiv, the capital, is occupied by Russia, "there will be some persecution against LGBT people."

Andrii Kravchuk, who works at the Nash Mir Gay and Lesbian Centre in Ukraine told The Daily Beast: "We understand that the Russian occupation would mean total lawlessness and repressions — we see it right now in the Ukrainian-occupied territories of Crimea and Donbas."