Garth Brooks on Hosting the ACM Awards With 'Goddess' Dolly Parton and If They'll Ever Duet (Exclusive)

Garth Brooks and Dolly Parton to host the ACM awards
Art Streiber

The singer talks to ET about his first time hosting the awards show alongside Dolly Parton.

Ahead of co-hosting the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards with Dolly Parton, Garth Brooks spoke with ET's Rachel Smith in Nashville, where the two discussed the longtime country singer's upcoming turn as emcee for "country music's party of the year" and the fresh ink on his arm.

"I never hosted in my life -- I'm just trying to survive, OK," Brooks says as he talks about taking the stage at the upcoming awards show, which will stream live on Prime Video from Ford Center at the Star in Frisco, Texas, on Thursday, May 11 starting at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.  

The singer explains that even though he's performed live in front of millions of fans, this is very different. "That's singing. I got a guitar to hide behind," Brooks says, telling Smith that "this is speaking, OK, your role. I can't do your role."

But luckily for Brooks, he's co-hosting alongside Parton, who returns after hosting last year's ceremony. "I'm nervous to stand next to her," Brooks says, revealing how great it has been to work with another legend in the industry. "She's so approachable but yet she seems untouchable, right? Because, I mean, she's just a goddess, c'mon." 

But no matter how big of a superstar Parton may be, Brooks says, "She's a regular person. So, I love that. She makes it fun. [There's] no drama."  

Though, he does joke that if there's anyone who is going to go off script during the show, it's Parton. "I can promise you whoever's writing the script just take the night off because she's gonna be all over the place," he teases. 

Surprisingly, given how long both have worked in the industry and how many times they've bumped into each other at events, this is their first time collaborating. "This is the first time we're going to work together," he says, with Parton joking, "Our ships have passed in the night." 

And hopefully it won't be their last time working together. 

But for now, it won't be on Parton's upcoming rock album, Rockstar, which will hear her dueting with a variety of artists from all different genres. Though, Brooks is excited for the record. "Rock and roll came and grabbed her because she was the one that said, 'Hey, guys, I don't feel I've earned this right,'" he says, referring to her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

He adds, "[Parton] is one of the greatest artists ever and she is where she belongs." 

In the meantime, Brooks opened up about his new tattoo, which fans will get a peek at during the awards show. "This is fresh ink," he says, explaining that he got it for his daughter's 18th birthday. "She said, 'You got to get a tattoo with me.' So, I ended up just getting a small one. It's a three-quarter sleeve chest and back." 

Explaining the meaning behind it, Brooks reveals, "It's just a tribute to the women in my life."

"So my three daughters, they are right here in age. The eldest one on top, middle in the middle, bottom on the bottom. And they're right here by my heart by my side forever," he continues. "My mom's on my shoulder. She's my angel on my shoulder and Miss Yearwood's on the heart… Those are the loves of my life."