Dolly Parton—Er, “Dolly P”—Gives Her Stamp of Approval to Beyoncé’s Cover of ‘Jolene’

The country music legend has wanted Bey to cover her classic song for years.

Dolly Parton supports Beyoncé
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Dolly Parton is a legend in the country music space, so what she says goes, okay? And her verdict on Beyoncé’s long-rumored Cowboy Carter cover of Parton’s 1973 hit “Jolene”—a country music classic—is just as awestruck as the rest of us.

“Wow, I just heard Jolene,” Parton posted on Instagram this afternoon. “Beyoncé is giving that girl some trouble and she deserves it!” She signed the message “Love, Dolly P.”

Speaking of “Dolly P,” that is the name of the track that serves as a brief introduction to the “Jolene” cover; on “Dolly P,” Parton makes reference to Lemonade, Beyoncé’s 2016 album, specifically the track “Sorry,” where she calls out “Becky with the good hair.” On “Dolly P,” Parton says, in what sounds like a voice message to Beyoncé, “Hey Miss Honey B, it’s Dolly P. You know that hussy with the good hair you sing about? Reminding me of someone I knew back when, except she has flaming locks of auburn hair, bless her heart. Just a hair of a different color, but it hurts just the same.”

The 2024 “Jolene” has lyrics that are drastically revised from the 1973 original, including replacing Parton’s original “begging” lyrics with fierce demands. The Parton version contains the lyrics “I’m begging of you, please don’t take my man.” The Beyoncé version, however, is much more firm: “Jolene, Jolene, I’m warning you, don’t come for my man.” Later, Bey threatens “Jolene, I know I’m a queen / Jolene, I’m still a Creole Banjee bitch from Louisiana / Don’t try me.”

Beyonce wears a black suit with a cowboy hat in front of a plain wall

The new "Jolene" lyrics are much more stern than the 1973 version's.

(Image credit:

Per Deadline, during a 2022 interview with Trevor Noah on The Daily Show, Parton said she wanted “Jolene” to be covered “in just a big way, kind of like how Whitney [Houston] did my ‘I Will Always Love You.’ Someone that can take my little songs and make them, like, powerhouses.” (First of all, they’re not “little” songs—and did you know that Parton wrote “I Will Always Love You” and “Jolene” on the same day?!)

That must have been an epic day in Parton’s life, as must be today, as Parton herself said it would be two years ago: “That would be a marvelous day in my life, if she [Beyoncé] ever does ‘Jolene,'" she told Noah.

Consider today a good one for “Dolly P.” And P.S., in addition to the “Dolly P” interlude, Parton appears elsewhere on the album—but we’ll let you figure out where exactly for yourself as you listen to Cowboy Carter’s 27 tracks.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.