Watch Dolly Parton's Choir-Backed Performance of "He's Risen" at the 1989 CMA Awards

"I feel very honored to get to sing this song on the show tonight. And as mama would say 'I hope you get a blessing out of it.'"

With Easter fast approaching, we've got quite the soundtrack to accompany our at-home festivities this year: Dolly Parton's breathtaking cover of Don Francisco's Easter-themed song "He's Alive" from the 1989 CMA Awards. The Smoky Mountain Songbird covered this song on her 1989 studio album, White Limozeen, and it became her third single from the #3 Billboard country-charting album.

Dolly Parton attends the 'Steel Magnolias' New York City Premiere Party on November 5, 1989
Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

"Thank you very much. I feel very honored to get to sing this song on the show tonight. And as mama would say 'I hope you get a blessing out of it,'" said Parton as she introduced her performance. Looking angelic in a stunning white evening gown, the song intensifies in the last minute or so when Parton's soaring vocals are accompanied by a large choir. Watch the performance below.

Last year, Parton also treated us to a stunning rendition of "He's Alive," but a far more subdued acoustic rendition that she presumably recorded at home. "I know everybody loves to get all dressed up in their beautiful dresses, their hats, their fancy shoes, go to church, be with all your friends. And that's all wonderful, we all love doing that every year. And the kids all love getting out, hiding Easter eggs and all that with their friends, well, this year we're gonna stay around the house a little bit, right?" she said before this solo performance. "But that doesn't mean we can't worship in the same way that we should. Because we don't have to go to a building, to a church, to worship God. The kingdom of heaven is within. So let's just do that this year, there will always be pretty dresses, and hats, and shoes." Again riffing on her Mama's words, Parton concluded with, "I think you'll get a blessing out of this, and I know I'm going to get a blessing out of singing it."

Check it out below.

Which version do you prefer? The choir-backed performance at the CMAs or a more intimate one with Parton and her guitar? We think we'll be adding both to our Easter soundtrack this year. After all, there's no such thing as too much Dolly.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles