Dolly Parton Shares Impressive Throwback Playing Unlikely Instrument With Famous Friend

by Natalie Kiser

What do you think of Dolly Parton’s secret talent?

Profile picture of the author, India McCarty

June 17, 2022 | 1:00 p.m. CDT

Dolly Parton singing into microphone wearing a pale yellow top and tan cowboy hat (Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

Everyone knows that Dolly Parton is extremely talented. From singing and writing songs to acting in movies and writing books, the country superstar can do it all. She recently shared one of her lesser-known skills on social media with a throwback clip of her and Patti LaBelle making music together. 

Parton’s ‘Secret Talent’

“Have I shown you all my secret talent yet?” Parton captioned a video of her and LaBelle on a talk show together. “Thanks @MsPattiLabelle for playing the acrylics with me!” In the clip, the two musical legends are decked out in sparkly black gowns and playing an unlikely instrument: their fingernails. 

The two singers rub their fingernails together to make a shuffling noise that gives them a pretty good beat for the song they’re singing together acapella. After they harmonize on a few lines, Parton says, “Play it, Patty!” LaBelle does a fingernail solo before the pair bursts into laughter. 

RELATED: Dolly Parton Posts Stunning TBT Photo With Unlikely Famous Friend

Fans loved the video, sharing their thoughts in the comments section. “You two are national treasures. This is too cute,” one person wrote. Another commented, “I do that with my nails all the time, minus the singing!”

Parton Is A Longtime Fingernail Player

For devoted fans of Parton, this fingernail-playing skill is old news. If the shuffling, clicking sound seems familiar, it’s because it is: Parton employed the same “instrument” while writing her hit song “9 to 5.” In the studio version, the sound is changed to the clack of typewriter keys, but Parton wrote the song using her nails. 

Parton has told the story a lot over the years, and on a recent appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, the country singer shared more details. “When I actually wrote this song, I used my acrylic nails on the set when I was writing it,” she shared. “They make noise that kind of sounds like a typewriter.” 

Her nails even made it to the final cut of the song. “It says Nails by Dolly on the album!” Parton laughed. She continued, “My nails are my rhythm section when I’m writing a song all alone. Some day, I may cut an album, just me and my nails.” 

Parton is undeniably talented, finding music in every part of her life—even her acrylic nails. Fans of the country superstar are still waiting on that album where it’s just Parton and her fingernails!

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