Dolly Parton already loved Lil Nas X. And now she loves his viral ‘Jolene’ cover

A split image of a woman with long, blond hair and a man with long, black hair
Dolly Parton recently responded to Lil Nas X’s cover of “Jolene.”
(Evan Agostini / Invision/Associated Press)

About a week after Lil Nas X floored the internet with a haunting cover of “Jolene,” Dolly Parton has spoken.

On Wednesday, the country music legend praised the “Montero” artist’s viral performance of her 1974 classic and thanked him for the homage.

“I was so excited when someone told me that Lil Nas X had done my song #Jolene,” Parton wrote on social media, alongside a video of the “Old Town Road” hitmaker’s rendition.


“I had to find it and listen to it immediately…and it’s really good,” Parton added. “Of course, I love him anyway. I was surprised and I’m honored and flattered. I hope he does good for both of us.”

Less than an hour later came Lil Nas X’s reply: “HOLY S—.”

Rapper and singer Lil Nas X delivered a flawless cover of the Dolly Parton classic “Jolene” for BBC’s Live Lounge. And fans are eating it up.

Sept. 21, 2021

Last week, the rapper and singer debuted his intimate version of “Jolene” at BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge, which also featured a few tracks from his chart-topping debut album, including his latest hit, “Thats What I Want.”

“Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene,” the Grammy winner sang, adjusting the key and tempo of the iconic melody to suit his silky baritone.

“I’m beggin’ of you, please, don’t take my man / Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene / Please don’t take him just because you can.”

His musical talents aside, Lil Nas X’s startling videos and Instagram imagery have put him at the vanguard of queer iconography in the TikTok era.

Sept. 23, 2021

By Thursday morning, the “Industry Baby” artist’s soulful rendition of the Parton tune had amassed more than 5.7 million views across YouTube and Twitter.

Meanwhile, on Instagram, Parton shared a sweet throwback photo of herself and the rising pop sensation — prompting fans of both musicians to envision a collaboration between the vocalists.


On his critically acclaimed debut album alone, Lil Nas X has already collaborated with the likes of Megan Thee Stallion, Miley Cyrus, Jack Harlow, Doja Cat and Elton John. Not to mention his starmaking country-rap crossover, “Old Town Road,” featuring Billy Ray Cyrus.

The singer, rapper and internet savant has finally released his full-length debut, ‘Montero,’ which strikes an impressive balance between craft and heart.

Sept. 20, 2021


“Dolly Parton’s recommendation of Lil Nas X’s version of Jolene is a statement by someone who not only has the joy of music and inclusion in their heart, but the confidence to know that someone else celebrating her gift is not a threat to her legacy,” wrote another. “Dolly Parton is The Best.”