WATCH: Dolly Parton Performs Moving Rendition of ‘Jolene’ at 2021 Latin Grammys

by Jacklyn Krol

Dolly Parton gave a special performance of “Jolene.”

The country music legend performed for the  Latin Recording Academy‘s Ellas Y Su Música. Parton performed virtually alongside Chiquis Rivera for a bilingual version in both English and Spanish.

“Buenas Noches y’all,” Parton said from a recording studio donning a lime green dress. “I would never pass up the opportunity to celebrate women in music in any language. We all owe it to ourselves to stick together and lift each other up. Sometimes that means to have the courage to have hard and honest conversations about the things that matter most. Now, these icons of original Mexican music have set their courage to song.”

Parton welcomed to the stage her new friend and the two took turns belting out the tune. This new version incorporates classic Latin flair with the storytelling roots of the iconic song.

Watch the special performance, below.

This isn’t the first time that “Jolene” was dueted. Dolly Parton previously sang the song with her goddaughter Miley Cyrus for The Recording Academy. The pair also performed it back in 2010 for the Hallmark Channel.

Olivia Newton-John created a disco cover of the hit while The White Stripes made it into a rocking rendition. But there has always been one person that Dolly Parton would like to hear cover the song, Beyonce.

Jolene has been recorded more than any other song that I have ever written,” Parton previously told Big Issue. “It has been recorded worldwide over 400 times in lots of different languages, by lots of different bands.”

The Story Behind Dolly Parton’s Hit

Early in Dolly Parton’s music career, she met a young fan named Jolene who had beautiful red hair.

“She was looking up at me, holding, you know, for an autograph. I said, ‘Well, you’re the prettiest little thing I ever saw. So what is your name?’ And she said, ‘Jolene,’” she recalled. “And I said, ‘Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene.’ I said, ‘That is pretty. That sounds like a song. I’m going to write a song about that.'”

The other inspiration came after a redheaded bank teller hit on her husband. It became a running joke between the couple and she used it in the song.

Dolly Parton may have written “I Will Always Love You” on the same day as “Jolene.” She discovered the original cassette tape that featured demos of both songs on it. The two smash hits were at least written in the same time period, if not the same writing session.