Things came full circle for Reba when her return to the stage was once again interrupted by Dolly Parton.

By Meghan Overdeep
Dolly, Reba and Carrie at the Opry
Credit: Grand Ole Opry/Hollo Photographics Inc.

Nashville celebrated the 40th anniversary of Reba McEntire's Grand Ole Opry debut in the most fitting way last week: by poking fun at how Dolly Parton cut short her first appearance on the iconic stage.

"First time I ever sang on the Grand Ole Opry was September 17, 1977," McEntire recalled in a video earlier this year, "and I was supposed to sing two songs, but they came to me when I got there and said, ‘We're gonna have to cut you down to one song because Dolly Parton just pulled up into the driveway, and she's gonna take one of your songs.' I said, ‘Okay, she can take both of them. Can I meet her?'"

Things came full circle for the "Fancy" singer when her return to the stage was once again interrupted by Parton. "I could not miss this chance," Parton said as she made her way onto the stage in the middle of McEntire's "Does He Love You" duet with Carrie Underwood.

"You rascal!" McEntire cried as the crowd roared.

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Parton continued: "I remember 40 years ago. You were supposed to have two spots at the Opry and they gave me one of them and I just wanted to give it back to you tonight. Reba we all love you and I just wanted to say congratulations."

And the surprises kept coming! A few minutes later, Underwood appeared on stage with a giant cake and she and Parton lead the audience in a booming rendition of "Happy Anniversary to You" in the singer's honor.

Congratulations, Reba!