Dolly Parton on Lil Nas X’s cover of Jolene: ‘it’s really, really good’

by Susan Ryant

Dolly Parton is a GOAT of country music and kindness. Recently, it was revealed that Dolly took the money that she made from Whitney Houston’s cover of “I Will Always Love You” and invested it into a Black community in Nashville, Tennessee. Dolly is extremely gracious as well. Recently, Lil Nas X did a cover of her song “Jolene” on his live mini concert for BBC 1 Radio Live Lounge. In a tweet and Instagram post, Dolly stated that she loved the cover and that it was really good. Dolly also said that she had an opportunity earlier on to work with Lil Nas on his song “Old Town Road” but decided she wanted to do another project with him instead. Lil Nas told Andy Cohen on his show that adding “Jolene” to the concert was a last minute decision. Below are a few more highlights via People:

“I was so excited when someone told me that Lil Nas X had done my song ‘Jolene.’ I had to find it and listen to it immediately…and it’s really, really good,” wrote Parton 75. “Of course, I love him anyway. I was surprised and I’m honored and flattered. I hope he does good for both of us. Thank you @lilnasx 🦋.”

Lil Nas X, 22, later quote retweeted Parton’s tweet with the same message, and wrote “HOLY S—.”

The “Industry Baby” singer sat down with SiriusXM’s Andy Cohen Live on Tuesday and talked about how that performance came to fruition, since “Jolene” wasn’t the song they originally intended to perform.

“We originally were going to do a Nirvana song and then like, we were kind of goofing around and you know, like doing Jolene, it was like, wait a minute. What if we actually did Jolene?” Lil Nas X said.

He continued, “And I feel like, you know, the context to it, like completely changes as you just said, I was like, ‘Oh, that’d be really cool.’ So I went for it. Hey, [I] have like my history with country. So I was like, ah, this is perfect.”

This isn’t the stars’ first rodeo, however — in 2019, Parton told Elle that she had the opportunity to feature on Lil Nas X’s breakout hit “Old Town Road,” but hoped to instead work with him on another project in the future.

“I had an opportunity to be part of that [song], but it had done so well with so many people,” she said. Lil Nas X released remixes of the track with BTS, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lil Wayne and Diplo, among others. “I thought, ‘Well, I’ll wait and do something later on. No point in going down that same Old Town Road. We got other roads to travel.’ ”

“I was so happy for him,” she added.

[From People]

Ya’ll know that I am a Dolly Parton stan. I swear every week I learn something about Dolly that makes me love her more. In fact, One of the reasons I got the Moderna vaccine was because Dolly invested in it. I now tell everyone I got the Dolly Parton vaccine. I also remember when Dolly fully supported Whitney Houston’s rendition of “I Will Always Love You,” there was never any beef and she spoke glowingly about Whitney. Now, Dolly is supporting Lil Nas X, another Black musician. I do agree with Dolly, Lil Nas’ cover of Jolene, which happens to be my favorite song by Dolly, is really good. Lil Nas managed to keep the essence of what Dolly was saying in the song while also making it his own. No I am not a judge on The Voice but I really dug it. Anyways, I would love to see Dolly work with Lil Nas. I am sure that project will be lit and it will definitely endear Dolly to the queer and Black communities even more. I have also loved (from where I sit) how Lil Nas has been accepted in the country music arena. So I am sure doing a project with Dolly will solidify a foothold in the genre for Lil Nas X. Anyways, I am going to bump Jolene (both versions) and patiently await that Lil Nas and Dolly Parton collaboration. In the meantime, I am going to go celebrate Dolly’s shout out of Lil Nas’s tweet because my boy seemed so excited about her acknowledgement.