US country music legend Dolly Parton dedicated the 57th Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards to the people of Ukraine as she opened the ceremony in Las Vegas on Monday night.

The Jolene singer joked she would "rather pass a kidney stone" than get political but asked viewers to send "love and hope" to those affected by the conflict.

The biggest night in country music returned to Nevada this year, having been moved to different locations including Nashville, Tennessee due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A packed-out Allegiant Stadium saw performances from Brothers Osborne, Luke Bryan, Kelly Clarkson, as well as Parton herself.

Ahead of the first winner announcements, the multi-award-winning Parton asked crowds to "take a serious moment" before the fun began.

"Now, I don't want to be political and this is not. I'd rather pass a kidney stone than do that," she said.

"I want us to send our love and hope to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine.

"So why don't we just dedicate this entire show to them and pray for peace around this crazy old world?"

The 76-year-old national treasure wore a shimmering jumpsuit with a shard-like design and joked that a disco-ball had fallen on her before the show.

"I wanted to shine tonight, did I make it?" she asked audiences, to cheers and applause.

Parton also received her own tribute from Kelly Clarkson, who took to the stage to perform a rendition of Parton's I Will Always Love You, which she dedicated to the singer.

The biggest prize of the night, Entertainer of the Year, went to Miranda Lambert, who accepted the award virtually from London.

Male Artist of the Year was awarded to Tennessee Whiskey singer Chris Stapleton while Best Female was won by Carley Pearce.

Morgan Wallen won Album of the Year at the awards for Dangerous: The Double Album, a year after being removed from the ACM ballot after he was caught on camera using a racial slur.

He was also suspended by his label Big Loud Records in February 2021 after footage surfaced of him yelling the slurs outside a house in Nashville.

The singer made no direct reference to the incident as he accepted the prize but said the album would signify to his son that "daddy was a fighter".

Source: Press Association

Click here for more music news.