Dolly Parton Celebrates 50 Years as a Grand Ole Opry Member: See Her Most Iconic Outfits

"Being able to share some of my iconic Opry costumes with the public is the rhinestone on top of the bustier," the country star tells PEOPLE of the new exhibit, open through Oct. 31 in Nashville

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Photo Call with Dolly Parton, Beverly Hills, USA - 22 Oct 2018
Dolly Parton. Sundholm Magnus/action press/REX/Shutterstock

To celebrate Dolly Parton's 50th anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member, "Dolly: My Opry Memories" opened earlier this week in Nashville. The exhibit will run through Oct. 31 and feature two dozen wardrobe pieces the country music icon has worn on the Opry and Ryman Auditorium stages, as well as videos of Parton discussing her favorite Opry memories and rarely seen performance clips.

"Celebrating 50 years of being a member of the Opry is a thrilling feeling and being able to share some of my iconic Opry costumes with the public is the rhinestone on top of the bustier," Parton told PEOPLE in a statement.

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dolly parton
Courtesy Grand Ole Opry

From left to right:

1960s: An outfit from one of Parton's many performances at the Opry — then located at the Ryman Auditorium —that decade. The singer often performed with Porter Wagoner.

1969: Ten years after making her debut at age 13, Parton performed on the Opry for the first time as a member. This dress is from her inaugural year of membership.

2002: Parton wore this dress for an Opry appearance supporting her 37th studio album, Halos and Horns.

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dolly parton
Courtesy Grand Ole Opry

From left to right:

2000: Parton was ravishing in red for the Grand Ole Opry's 75th anniversary special, which she co-hosted with Vince Gill. She wore this dress for a medley performance of Roy Acuff songs that evening.

1975: To kick off the Grand Opry's 50th anniversary special, Parton performed Acuff's "Back in the Country" alongside fellow Opry members.

1960s: A look Parton wore for one of her many appearances on The Porter Wagoner Show, where she performed regularly as Wagoner's "girl singer."

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dolly parton
Courtesy Grand Ole Opry

From left to right:

1988: Parton wore this outfit after bringing a taping of her variety show Dolly to Nashville, opening the episode with a performance of "Down on Music Row."

1974: Parton's signature symbol — butterflies — was the focus of this ensemble, chosen for one of many evening Opry appearances.

2000: Parton chose this sparkly number for her performance of "Coat of Many Colors" during the Grand Ole Opry’s 75th anniversary special.

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dolly parton
Courtesy Grand Ole Opry

From left to right:

2005: Parton wore this dress for an Opry performance with bluegrass group The Grascals. Following the show, she introduced then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who had been in attendance that evening, and together they led the auditorium in recording a message for the troops.

1995: This night was Something Special — Parton played songs from her album of the same name, before surprising the audience with Vince Gill for a duet of "I Will Always Love You."

2010: Not so mellow yellow: at the Grand Ole Opry's 85th anniversary celebration this night, Parton helped roll a giant cake on to the stage before leading the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday" alongside Bill Anderson, Jim Ed Brown, Mel McDaniel and Del McCoury.

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dolly parton
Courtesy Grand Ole Opry

From left to right:

2007: At Porter Wagoner's 50th Opry anniversary celebration, he and Parton performed their classic hit "Just Someone I Used to Know" before Parton closed out the evening by serenading Wagoner with "I Will Always Love You" — the song she wrote for him when she left The Porter Wagoner Show.

2015: For the first of two sold-out shows at the Ryman Auditorium, Parton chose this jumpsuit — and performed without her full band for much of the night.

2017: When Reba McEntire celebrated the 40th anniversary of her Opry debut, Parton dropped in to surprise her, thrilling both McEntire and the audience.

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