Gabby Barrett celebrated her 22nd birthday on Saturday (March 5), but she got her favorite birthday present a day later: Finally meeting country legend Dolly Parton.

It's true: Though Barrett is a burgeoning superstar in her own right, and signed on to co-host this year's ACM Awards with Parton and Jimmie Allen, it wasn't until rehearsals on Sunday (March 6) that she finally met Parton in person.

"It's a good birthday gift," Barrett told Taste of Country Nights over the weekend before the show. "The next couple days are very heavy in rehearsing and scripts and going over all of that. But yes, of course, I'm nervous."

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At this year's ACM Awards, Barrett will be at the helm of all the action. Not only is she hosting the show, but she's also a performer, and she's nominated for Female Artist of the Year. It's the continuation of a couple of years' worth of dreams come true for Barrett, who came of age being coached by Luke Bryan as an American Idol contestant. Now, Bryan is her country music peer.

"It's just hard to believe," the singer notes from the pre-ACMs Radio Row event. "Luke Bryan's across from me currently, and he sent me a wave. My old American Idol judge. So that's very interesting, to be walking around the same place, playing the same festivals now."

The 2022 ACM Awards are taking place Monday night (March 7) at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. The show will stream on Amazon Prime Video at 8 PM ET, taking place over a two-hour, commercial-free block.

Remember: The best way to watch the 2022 ACMs is on TV, with ToC on your phone!

2021 ACM Red Carpet Pictures

The best dressed on the 2021 ACM Awards red carpet brought color — lots of color — for an awards show that promises to be a celebration. Photos show stars like Carly Pearce, Kelsea Ballerini, Chris Young, Kane Brown and more wearing the hottest and often most expensive designer outfits, or suits they designed themselves, in the case of Jimmie Allen.

Check out a full gallery of country music's hottest stars on the ACM Awards red carpet. Who do you think is best dressed and worst dressed?

The 2021 ACM Awards took place at the Bluebird Cafe, Grand Ole Opry and Ryman Auditorium in Nashville on Sunday (April 18).

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