The 100,000-plus people who were thought to have flocked to see her sang along to hits including Jolene and Blue Smoke.
As promised, Parton, fresh from a show in Leeds eight days earlier, appeared in white, dressed in a skintight jumpsuit and huge heels, saying previously that the colour went well with the brown mud.
As the crowd cheered, she told them: “Thank you so much. It is such an honour and such a thrill to be here at Glastonbury Festival. I’ve been waiting a lifetime for this and of course we want all of you to have the best time.
“I know you’re here to see a whole load of artists at the festival and we’re just glad that you came to see me.”
The 68-year-old star has been the most talked about act of the festival, with excitement building ahead of her taking to the Pyramid Stage for what has become know as the Sunday Afternoon Legend’s Slot following other artists including Ray Davies and Shirley Bassey.
Before coming on stage Parton had said she had composed a song specially for Glastonbury.
She made the audience sing along to the lyrics with her, which consisted of them repeating the word “mud”.
Her performance came as Glastonbury organiser Michael Eavis hailed this year’s festival as a “great success” and said he already has next year’s headliners sorted. The farmer, who put on the first festival at his farm in 1970, was sworn to secrecy about who the acts were, but said one band was not British and Prince was not among them.
Asked about Metallica’s top spot on the Pyramid Stage on Saturday, he said the heavy metallers had played “like their lives depended on it”.