Kelly Clarkson performs “I Will Always Love You” at the 2022 ACMs

Kelly Clarkson got the crowd pumping as she paid tribute to country superstar Dolly Parton at the 2022 ACM Awards.

The singer took the stage during the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards live from Las Vegas on Monday, to pay tribute to the show’s mega-host by performing a beautiful rendition of the Parton-penned hit “I Will Always Love You.” Hitting all the right notes and showing off her impressive vocal range, Clarkson stunned in a long-sleeved black velvet dress while singing the tune.

The simple, yet powerful performance, included Clarkson accompanied by a pianist and a guitarist. The audience cheered for the “Since U Been Gone” singer, as Parton took the stage to give Clarkson a hug.

“Oh my god, that was so awesome!” Parton exclaimed. “That’s so good, Kelly. I know Whitney (Houston) is smiling at us tonight. Thank you so much…I was backstage trying not to cry my false lashes.”

“That just topped it off for me,” Parton continued, before announcing Miranda Lambert as artist of the year.

Parton originally wrote and recorded the song in 1973 as a tribute to his close friend, business partner and mentor, Porter Wagoner. The late Houston then re-recorded the track from her 1992 film, “The Bodyguard.”

Clarkson is a fan of Parton and the late Houston — she previously covered Houston in her “Kellyoke” segment on her daytime talk show and is currently working with the Tennessee Songbird on a “9 to 5” duet. It’s the same song she performed on her very first episode of “The Kelly Clarkson Show.”

Related: See the list of winners of the ACM Awards 2022

Monday night was filled with classic Parton moments. The multi-Grammy award-winning legend brought his humor, style and stage presence to the event as host, alongside Jimmie Allen and Gabby Barrett. She also delighted viewers with a performance of “Big dreams and faded jeans” with Kelsea Ballerini.

Many artists performed during the show, including the night’s ACM winner Carrie Underwood, Kane Brown, Chris Stapleton and more, entertaining fans with their latest hits. Clarkson, meanwhile, wasn’t the only one who delivered a sensational rendition of a classic song. Barrett sang “I Hope You Dance” by Lee Ann Womack at night.

The 2022 ACM Awards took place at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas and premiered on Amazon Prime Video.

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