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

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.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

43 Responses to “Dolly Parton on Lil Nas X’s cover of Jolene: ‘it’s really, really good’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. goofpuff says:

    I love them both

  2. Who ARE these people? says:

    So great. Thanks for bringing us these two.

  3. Lizzie says:

    I love this haunting song. Dolly is right, It’s really good.

    • Kelly says:

      As a lifelong country fan, I was honestly a little insulted by Old Town Road and don’t think it deserved to get as much attention as it did. It was like a lot of the formulaic crap that’s being put out in Nashville right now and I think it’s a shame when there are actually Black Country music artists out there like Mickey Guyton who have been making actual country and struggling for years to be recognized. I actually respect Nas x for pushing boundaries but I HATED that song

      But this? This is insanely beautiful and one of the best covers of Jolene I’ve ever heard.

  4. Libellule says:

    What a beautiful cover

  5. Normades says:

    A great cover song isn’t a copy of the original and adapts to the artist. This is a GREAT cover. I love how they slowed down the tempo and lowered the vocal range. Lil Nas X is killing it.

    • BeanieBean says:

      It really changed the mood of the song, didn’t it? I really liked his cover.

    • Golly Gee says:

      His voice is like sweetened condensed milk or butter — I can’t decide which. Absolutely love his rendition.

  6. Jais says:

    Can’t wait for them to collaborate on a song together. I hope they do some sort of small documentary behind the scenes showing their process.

  7. Driver8 says:

    Love this!! I sent this story to my best friend who just got the raddest DP tattoo I’ve ever seen. I get to see her this weekend for the first time since quarantine, and this will definitely be on our playlist!

  8. WithTheAmerican says:

    Both such sweet souls. I love this. Dolly is such a gift.

    • tempest prognosticator says:

      She really is a treasure. I worked at a recording studio in the in the early 2000s. Occasionally, I’d bring my daughter to work if she didn’t have school and I had no one to watch her. Anytime Dolly was there she’d hangout with my daughter. Help her with homework. Then Dolly have some children’s books sent to the studio. Very sweet.

  9. Wiglet Watcher says:

    That woman is a damn national treasure.

    • Truthiness says:

      Absolutely. I wasn’t ready for such a soft low haunting version of Jolene but Lil Nas homered it out of the park. It’s still resonating with me long after it has finished.

  10. Meghan says:

    I haven’t listened to most of his music but when I saw that Dolly gave her stamp of approval I checked it out and loved it! I fully support the life adventures of Lil Nas X and his last UberEats commercial with Elton John had me snort laughing.

  11. tempest prognosticator says:

    Beautiful version of a classic. They’re both special people.

  12. Songs (Or it didnt happen) says:

    Maybe Dolly Parton can put a call in to Sen. Blumenthal and explain to him what a finsta is.

  13. Ocho says:

    I heard this last night on BBC Radio’s “Another Country with Ricky Ross”, and I just stopped. I LOVE this rendition, as well as Dolly’s obvs. Lil Nas felt this song and told a new story. On Ricky Ross’ two hour show next week, he will play solely Black country music, and I Can’t Wait. Hoping to hear more Joy Oladokun too.

  14. Abby says:

    I love Dolly and Lil Nas, and love this cover. My 5 year old is obsessed with this song (especially when I told her Jolene was on my short list for her name. Alas, my husband wasn’t on board. Her name is Felicity; which suits her). and thinks Dolly’s name is Jolene. She kept asking me “is Jolene a real person?” But she meant Dolly. She loves her too. I just absolutely adore all the good Dolly Parton has done in this world. What a treasure she is.

    • Ursaline says:

      Jolene was a pretty little girl that Dolly met at one of her performances. She used the girl as the inspiration for the song. Dolly is so gifted!

  15. Mireille says:

    Was watching the movie 9 to 5 the other day. I looooooovvvve Dolly Parton. And please let the muses hear my call and make happen this collaboration between Legendary Music Queen and Ridiculously Too-Handsome-To-Be-Real Music Breakthrough Artist.

    • whatWHAT? says:

      “I’m gonna change you from a rooster to a hen with one shot!”

      LOVE LOVE LOVE that movie so much.

      • Mireille says:

        LOL! I love that line. I can quote so many lines from that movie. I have devised my own ending to the film different from the script: The company is a huge success and profits are skyrocketing because Violet, Judy, and Doralee are still in charge, opening up other successful branches worldwide. That’s how the movie should have ended.

  16. Barbie1 says:

    Dolly is such a sweet lady and a great talent.

  17. Alarmjaguar says:

    I couldn’t stop playing this when I first heard his version, it is so good (and now that you’ve posted it, I know what I’ll be doing all day today). And I just love Dolly so much. She’s so kind, generous, and amazing. Thanks for this happy Friday story! Enjoy the weekend, bitches

  18. Merricat says:

    What a great cover! I love both of these people.

  19. jferber says:

    I’d rather see Dolly Parton as the Queen of England than Elizabeth 2. Dolly is generous, kind, hip, inclusive, hardworking and fair. Hell, she even helped produce a vaccine for COVID. She is a true queen. Lil Nas X is just such a beauty. I liked his version of Jolene, too. So happy for his success. And a shout-out too for Billy Ray Cyrus for supporting Lil Nas X in the early days, when most of country music did not (and probably still doesn’t). Unexpected, but appreciated.

  20. K says:

    This is a match made in heaven. Please give us what we want, Dolly and Nas

  21. Grant says:

    I don’t know — am I the only one who thought this cover was just OK? It didn’t really go anywhere IMO and I feel like you could find twenty men on the street who can sing like Lil Nas X can.

    That said, I really appreciate everything he is doing for LGBTQ visibility and how he is holding homophobic rappers accountable for their hypocrisy and how he is unabashedly being himself.

    • Abby says:

      To me, it’s that he took on an iconic song about a male lover, in the country genre, and made it his own. Not that it was wildly different, but the person singing it represents something different than 20 other guys on the street.

      • Ursaline says:

        Abby, I felt the same way. He brings a tenderness that is really unique.

      • duchess of hazard says:

        Jack White did that years ago, and it’s a good cover (there’s a desperation when he does the chorus). I’m just surprised that people are acting as if it’s the first time a male artist has done the song.

    • MoonTheLoon says:

      This cover gives life to the real but fabled tale of the closeted male living a double life, with a wife at home and a boyfriend elsewhere. I would love to see him do a duet with either Dolly or another female singer. Imagine the intensity as the wife AND the boyfriend sing the same refrain, in different spaces. But the feeling is the same. Ooof.

    • HeatherC says:

      You’re not the only one Grant. Not a huge country music fan to start with, but I’ve always liked Dolly. I appreciate Lil Nas X’s take on it, and just by having a male sing it without changing any pronouns or names tells a different story that expands boundaries. I like his style and what he’s doing in the industry and life. But this version didn’t capture me. I would still like to see an original project with those two.

  22. Case says:

    What a great cover. Love Lil Nas X and Dolly! Two lovely people.

  23. Kkat says:

    I love them both so much

  24. canichangemyname? says:

    I love them both so much!! I follow them both on Twitter and this just gave me all the happy smiles yesterday!

  25. IMARA219 says:

    I love Dolly but the cover is horrid. I don’t know if his key is off or if he’s just off-pace but the whole thing sounds like a mess. Love her or hate her, Miley Cyrus is one of the few to do a beautiful and haunting cover. And I’m not even a fan of Miley.

  26. Green Desert says:

    Dolly continues to be a wonderful human as well as an amazing talent. Lil Nas X continues to slay with his version of Jolene – haunting and beautiful.

  27. Grace says:

    Love them both, so much! Dolly, the classic, is adored! What is it about this young man that we all love so much? He is fabulous in every way to me! and for a totally different vibe, here’s Miley Cyrus’s version of Jolene.

  28. Rise & Shine says:

    Oya and all at CB and posters here…totally agree and thank you so much for your kind words about Dolly! Lived in Nashville as a kid, randomly ran into her, and have worked with her a little for about almost thirty years now since, always will. Kids’ health care issues, education for all, food banks, on her Imagination Library, getting books to children and all, school bus routes established in Kentucky so kids can at least get to school, etc. You name it, she is on it. So many wonderful things because of her caring, giving a damn, trying to help, and be kind. And not only locally, only, everywhere. She really IS the real deal and does so much for others…it’s a beautiful thing and all too rare. Seriously. And check out the list of songs that she has written, wow, also amazing!!! LOVE her.