Dolly Parton Weighs in on Beyoncé's Country Album and Unique "Jolene" Cover

"It was very bold of her."

Dolly Parton responds to Beyoncé revealing she covered "Jolene."
(Image credit: ROBYN BECKVALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

The Queen of country is officially weighing in on Beyoncé's cover of her iconic 1973 hit "Jolene."

In a recent interview with E! News, Dolly Parton admitted that she was somewhat surprised to learn that Queen Bee's cover of "Jolene" didn't include her original lyrics, but was instead an entirely different rendition of the 70s version.

“I think it was very bold of her,” Parton told the publication. “When they said she was gonna do ‘Jolene,’ I expected it to be my regular one, but it wasn’t. But I love what she did to it. And as a songwriter, you love the fact that people do your songs no matter how they do them."

Parton went on to say that Beyoncé "wasn't gonna go beg some other woman like I did."

"'Don't steal my man.' (Instead, Beyoncé sings) 'S***, get out here, b****. You ain't stealin' mine.'"

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While Beyoncé's take on "Jolene" was a bit of a shock to the 78-year-old country music star, she went on to say that she was "proud" of the singer's entire Cowboy Carter album.

“I thought she did a great job in country music, and I thought it was great," she explained. "And I was just happy she did ‘Jolene.’ I, of course, would have loved to have heard how she would have done it in its original way. But of course, you know, it’s Beyoncé. Yeah, her life is different than mine."

Parton recorded an interlude to "Jolene," named "Dolly P," for Beyoncé's country music album, and told E! News that the pair "communicated when the album came out, when I was doing some of the little things to put on the album."

“And we were sending each other flowers and little love notes and all that," she continued. "So, yeah, it’s all good.”

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Earlier this year, Beyoncé announced her first-ever country album, saying on Instagram that it was "over five years in the making."

"It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t," she wrote in the post's caption, alluding to her appearance at the 2016 Country Music Awards.

"But, because of that experience, I did a deeper dive into the history of Country music and studied our rich musical archive," she continued. "It feels good to see how music can unite so many people around the world, while also amplifying the voices of some of the people who have dedicated so much of their lives educating on our musical history."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Cowboy Carter is expected to be a contender at next year's Grammy Awards. If it is, Parton told E! News she would love to join Beyoncé on stage for a duet performance.

"Why of course I would—if I’m available, if I’m not caught up in something I cannot get out of, yeah, that’d be wonderful,” Parton said. “I mean, who wouldn’t wanna sing ‘Jolene’ with Beyoncé?”

Danielle Campoamor
Weekend Editor

Danielle Campoamor is Marie Claire's weekend editor covering all things news, celebrity, politics, culture, live events, and more. In addition, she is an award-winning freelance writer and former NBC journalist with over a decade of digital media experience covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mortality, gun violence, climate change, politics, celebrity news, culture, online trends, wellness, gender-based violence and other feminist issues. You can find her work in The New York Times, Washington Post, TIME, New York Magazine, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, TODAY, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, Mother Jones, Prism, Newsweek, Slate, HuffPost and more. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and their two feral sons. When she is not writing, editing or doom scrolling she enjoys reading, cooking, debating current events and politics, traveling to Seattle to see her dear friends and losing Pokémon battles against her ruthless offspring. You can find her on X, Instagram, Threads, Facebook and all the places.