Country Throwback: Dolly Parton Crushes ‘Stairway to Heaven’ on Tour in 2002

by Emily Morgan

If there’s anyone who can successfully tackle Led Zeppelin’s classic “Stairway To Heaven,” it has got to be Dolly Parton. 

Parton went beyond covering the tune; she knocked it out of the park. In 2002, she broke the country and classic rock sound barrier when she performed the song. The show took place at the musician’s theme park in Tennessee and featured an epic rendition of the Led Zeppelin classic, “Stairway to Heaven.”

Even though Dolly Parton and Led Zeppelin aren’t from the same genre of music, Parton’s sweet yet powerful voice does the track justice. Her iconic twang adds country music flair to the classic rock hit. 

The cover features a stark contrast from Jimmy Page’s shredding guitar solos. Using mainly her voice, Parton puts a mellow spin on the song while delivering a captivating performance. Parton incorporates soft bluegrass instrumentals rather than their electric counterparts on the original track. 

Dolly Parton Receives Nod of Approval From Led Zeppelin

Her rendition even garnered a stamp of approval from the band’s frontrunner and co-writer of the timeless tune, Robert Plant. 

“You know, it’s just so kinda odd that the artist and the elements are not in tune,” he said. “The thing is that she’s not wailing – she’s keeping it within the genre, and she’s a good singer.”

Parton’s cover of “Stairway to Heaven” is featured on her 37th studio album, Halos & Horns, in 2002The album also gave fans the signature Parton song, “These Old Bones,” and its music video. 

While fans of both country music and classic rock might wonder how this crossover would turn out, you’re in luck. Like everything else the country legend sings, it’s an unforgettable moment in music history, making her the perfect fit to cover the ballad. In proper Dolly Parton form, she puts her creative spin on the song while making sure to pay homage to those who created it.