Dolly Parton Teases Beyoncé Version Of 1973 Classic ‘Jolene’

Dolly Parton’s country classic “Jolene” is likely to make its way to the next Beyoncé album, Parton herself all but confirmed.

Rumors have been swirling that Beyoncé’s upcoming album Act II, set for release March 29, will be a country-themed collection, with two singles – “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages” – pointing in that direction. When “Texas Hold ‘Em” debuted at #1 last month on Billboard’s Hot Country chart, making Beyoncé the first Black woman to do so, Parton was among the first to offer congratulations.

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“I’m a big fan of Beyoncé and very excited that she’s done a country album,” Parton said in an Instagram message. “So congratulations on your Billboard Hot Country number one single.”

Now Parton has teased some additional news about Beyoncé’s album. In an interview with Knox News, the website of the Knoxville News Sentinel, during Friday’s season opening of Dollywood, Parton was asked about rumors that Beyoncé will include a cover of “Jolene” on her new album.

“Well, I think she has,” Parton said. “I think she’s recorded ‘Jolene’ and I think it’s probably gonna be on her country album, which I’m very excited about that.”

Parton wrote and recorded “Jolene” in 1973, and the song has gone on to be not only a Parton favorite but one of country music’s most beloved songs. Rolling Stone magazine has ranked it among the 500 greatest songs of all time, and countless artists have recorded cover versions including Olivia Newton-John, The White Stripes, Miley Cyrus, Chiquis and Becky G, and Lil Nas X.

Parton has, for years, expressed her hope that Beyoncé would cover the song, for example telling Trevor Noah on a 2022 episode of The Daily Show, “I would just love to hear Jolene done in just a big way, kind of like how Whitney [Houston] did my ‘I Will Always Love You,’ just someone that can take my little songs and make them like powerhouses. That would be a marvellous day in my life if [Beyoncé] she ever does do ‘Jolene’.”

The song is sung as a plea to a beautiful woman named Jolene to break off a flirtation with the singer’s spouse: “Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene/I’m beggin’ of you, please don’t take my man/Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene/Please don’t take him just because you can.”

Parton has said she wrote the song on the same day in 1973 that she wrote another much-covered classic, “I Will Always Love You.”

Aside from “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages,” Beyoncé has not confirmed the tracks of her upcoming album.

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