How Dolly Parton Really Feels About Lil Nas X Covering Her Song Jolene

Lil Nas X is the most talked about artist in the world right now, thanks to his hilarious online presence (via Twitter), refusal to hide his true self in all its wonderfully queer glory (via Twitter), and, obviously, demonstrable talent. With the release of highly-anticipated debut album "Montero," self titled after his real name, the world is at Lil Nas X's feet. As Out magazine notes in a profile of him, it couldn't have happened to a more deserving person. After all, the rapper and singer famously released his world-conquering single "Old Town Road" while he was a college dropout sleeping on his sister's floor.

The song was a major moment, both for Lil Nas X himself and for country music in general. As NBC News reported at the time, the intense reaction to watching a Black, openly gay man duetting with living legend Billy Ray Cyrus caused many in the industry to clutch their pearls. Billboard even removed the chart-topping track from its Top Country 100 list, arguing it lacked "elements of today's country music in its current version." As a result, country music was forced to reckon with decades of systemic racism. Now, though, Lil Nas X has been given the seal of approval by one of the genre's all-time greats. 

Dolly Parton is 'honored' her song was chosen

While taking part in the legendary BBC Live Lounge sessions, which have seen the likes of Dua Lipa taking on the Arctic Monkeys (via YouTube) and Harry Styles tackling Lizzo's "Juice" (via YouTube), Lil Nas X put his own unique spin on Dolly Parton's classic lovesick anthem "Jolene" (via YouTube). Twitter, understandably, went nuts for the achingly cool, yearning cover, with several users even calling for the singer to duet with Parton. The legend herself responded to his tweet with a selection of sweet emojis mirroring those featured in Lil Nas X's username. However, she also took to Instagram to share a longer response, alongside a photo of the two artists cuddling up backstage while wearing similarly flashy outfits. 

Parton revealed, "I was so excited when someone told me that Lil Nas X had done my song 'Jolene.' I had to find it and listen to it immediately ... and it's really, really good." She 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. Thank you @lilnasx." As HuffPost reports, the rapper has previously stated his desire to work with the entire, extended Cyrus family after duetting with patriarch Billy Ray on "Old Town Road," of course, and Miley on a song from "Montero." Since Parton is her godmother, perhaps Lil Nas X's quest to collect "every [Cyrus] stone to harness the ultimate power" is closer to completion.