The Rumors Are True: Queen Bey Covers Dolly Parton On New Country Album



Beyonce’s new country album features a long-rumoured cover of Dolly Parton’s beloved “Jolene,” as well as a number of country legend features, including Willie Nelson.

“Cowboy Carter” — the honkified second act of Queen Bey’s “Renaissance” trilogy — was already out in parts of the world where the calendar had flipped to Friday, and will continue its global drop as the clock strikes midnight in each time zone.

The 42-year-old megastar also covers Paul McCartney’s “White Album” classic “Blackbiird,” which she stylizes with a double-i spelling.

McCartney wrote the 1968 song about the Little Rock Nine, nine Black teenagers who became Civil Rights Movement icons when they were the first to enter a formally white-only high school in Arkansas, ushering in desegregation in the US south.

Parton herself acknowledged the cover of her song on Instagram, saying “Listen to my original ‘Jolene’ while you wait for @Beyonce’s COWBOY CARTER – Dolly P.”

When Beyonce first announced her forthcoming album and released an initial two singles, Parton gushed her praise: “I’m a big fan of Beyonce and very excited she’s done a country album,” the icon said.

A Texan raised by a mother from Louisiana and father from Alabama, Beyonce is going full country on her latest album, a move that has magnified a wider conversation on the long history of Black artists in country music spaces, and persistent backlash from white gatekeepers.


(FILES) Beyonce accepts The CDFA Fashion Icon Award onstage at the 2016 CFDA Fashion Awards at the Hammerstein Ballroom on June 6, 2016 in New York City.  (Photo by Theo Wargo / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP)


Tanner Adell and Willie Jones are also guest features on “Cowboy Carter,” as are Miley Cyrus and Post Malone.

An accomplished student of musicology, in 2022 Beyonce released Act I of “Renaissance,” a pulsating collection of club tracks rooted in disco history, which highlighted the Black, queer and working-class communities who molded electronic dance and house.

It’s clear she’s making the same effort on “Cowboy Carter,” inviting in collaborators — both obvious features and deeper cuts — to make a statement on country’s rich history and contemporary scene.

She recorded one of her first singles off the album, “Texas Hold ‘Em” and “16 Carriages,” with a number of celebrated musicians, including Rhiannon Giddens on the banjo and viola.


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