It is said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. With his rendition of “Jolene,” Lil Nas X wasn’t imitating Dolly Parton. But, he was certainly paying homage to the beloved country music icon.
That homage didn’t go unnoticed by the 75-year-old legend. And, in fact, she’s a very big fan of the 22-year-old rapper’s version of one of her most famous songs. Parton shared her love of the rapper’s cover of her song via social media on Wednesday, Sept. 29.
“I was so excited when someone told me that Lil Nas X had done my song #Jolene,” Dolly Parton shared on her Twitter account.
The respected singer and songwriter also said that when she heard that Lil Nas X has performed the song about a woman trying to steal a man from another woman, she was very much looking forward to hearing what he did with the song. What she heard made her happy.
“I had to find it and listen to it immediately…and it’s really good. Of course, I love him anyway,” Dolly Parton also shared.
The cover of “Jolene” wasn’t something the country music star was aware of beforehand. And, unsurprisingly, she is a big fan and grateful for what the young artist did with the track.
“I was surprised and I’m honored and flattered. I hope he does good for both of us. Thank you @LilNasX,” Dolly Parton tweeted.
Parton also showcased the cover of her song, “Jolene,” by the “Old Town Road” singer on social media. She shared a video of him performing the classic country music hit along with her words of praise. You can check it out below.
Dolly Parton Recorded Hit Song ‘Jolene’ in 1973
Dolly Parton’s hit song, “Jolene,” has been resonating with fans for almost 50 years. It was on May 22, 1973, that the icon first recorded the track. She did so at RCA Studio B in Nashville, Tennessee. And, like so many other of her hit songs, Parton wrote the song herself. This earliest version of “Jolene” was produced by Bob Ferguson.
“Jolene” wasn’t only the name of a song, it was also the name of one of Parton’s albums. The song also became the second song of her career to climb all the way to the top of the country music charts.
Dolly Parton was inspired to write the song from real-life experiences. There was a red-headed bank teller who flirted with her husband – and he appeared to enjoy the attention. This story, combined with a young fan she once met at a concert, inspired the song and its description of Jolene.
Dolly Parton talked about this during an interview with NPR in 2008. “One night, I was on stage, and there was this beautiful little girl — she was probably 8 years old at the time. And she had this beautiful red hair, this beautiful skin, these beautiful green eyes, and 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.’ And I said … That is pretty. That sounds like a song. I’m going to write a song about that,” she shared.
You can watch her perform the hit below.