Dolly Parton launches Stella’s Red Tent conference with power and poise

Red Tent Conference

"It's all takin' and no giving" became a central theme at the recent Red Tent Women's Conference in downtown Nashville. Helmed by Stella Parton, the three-day event focused its attention on female empowerment. Through the use of humor and, of course, music, the conference served as an avenue of celebration, and rightfully so. Some of the most groundbreaking and pioneering women were also present, including the incomparable Dolly Parton, to talk and share stories about strength and relentless drive.

"I really encourage you to dream more and dream big and certainly to care more," Dolly told the gathering crowd, NashvilleGab included, during her keynote address.

"Living in America and, of course, just being women in general, we've got more strength than we think we do," she continued, strutting across the stage in a dazzling red dress and stiletto heels."I have a great love and a great respect for women, in general, and I write a lot about the things that move me and touch me."

Dolly not only shared her wisdom, but she used the power of songs to demonstrate her point. Her set included her signature tune "9 to 5," as well as "Eagle When She Flies" and "Try" (the theme of her Imagination Library).

Despite countless accolades and critical acclaim through her career, she was rather candid about those achievements.  "Above everything else I've done, I've always said I've had more guts than I've got talent," she quipped. "I just had enough talents to carry me through. This is what I always wanted to do, and I've been through a lot. It ain't all glamour — that is certainly true — but it's been worth it for me."

Her concluding remark is the most resonant of all: "And above everything else, I have always tried."

Mandy Barnett, Anita CochranJonell Mosser, Michelle Poe and Odessa Settles were also on hand throughout the evening to deliver impassioned speeches and delightful music.


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