Dolly Parton Confirms Duet With Lainey Wilson

“We’ve got a song we did for The Judds [tribute album],” Parton shared, revealing that she and Wilson have a duet on the way.

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Melinda Lorge

Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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Posted on May 13, 2023

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Dolly Parton, Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Rich Polk for PMC

Lainey Wilson has always stated that a duet with Dolly Parton would be her ultimate dream collaboration. And now, it turns out that her dream is finally coming true. 

In a recent interview with ET Canada’s Brittnee Blair ahead of the 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards, Parton, who co-hosted the awards show with Garth Brooks, confirmed she will be releasing a collaboration with Wilson – one that is set to appear on a yet-to-be announced project, which will reportedly be The Judds’ tribute album.

“With Lainey Wilson…. I just did, with her, we’ve got a song we did for The Judds,” Parton explained. “They’re doing an album for The Judds for mental illness and some of the problems that [Naomi Judd] had. So they’re doing a whole album of the songs, and I got to do ‘Mama He’s Crazy’ with Lainey. I don’t even know her. So, I’m going to get a chance to visit.” 

Lainey Wilson Previously Said Dolly Parton Is Her “Biggest Inspiration”

Unbeknownst to Parton, Wilson had been talking about her wishes to work with Parton for many years. In 2022, she told Entertainment Tonight that the “9 To 5” icon was her “biggest inspiration.”

“I think we would get along just great. We haven’t met yet. We have not met, but I think we would be best buds,” Wilson said. “I think [Dolly’s] best buds with anybody, probably. I’m telling you, Dolly Parton, hands down, [is] one of the biggest inspirations, I mean, for so many people around the world. I mean, who she is, the way she tells it how it is with a little bow wrapped on top, she’s just a good person and has a heart of gold. I think if we were all a little bit more like her, the world would be a much better place.”

Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Rich Polk for PMC
Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Rich Polk for PMC

“W.W.D.D.”

Wilson, who paid tribute to Parton on her debut album with the song, “W.W.D.D,” (short for “What Would Dolly Do”), has incorporated Parton’s ways of handling certain situations, including attention to her body after previously going viral for her backend.

“You know, at the end of the day, we were talking about Dolly [Parton]. I mean she flaunts it. She’s proud of it,” Wilson told KMLE 107.9, referencing Parton’s often talked-about breasts.

“She’s probably so excited because I actually had the opportunity to sit down with Lainey, and she has her mantra that is “W.W.D.D,” which stands for “What would Dolly do?” Blair told Parton of Wilson’s track, which belongs on her first album, Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin‘. “She lives by it. She is going to be – oh my goodness, this is going to be really exciting to see y’all together.”

“Oh! I didn’t even know that,” Parton said, smiling. “That’s what I mean about the younger people having some of us older people to look up to. We’re kind of like parents and something to them.”

Wilson Reigned Queen Of The 2023 ACM Awards

Wilson was the most-nominated artist going into the 2023 ACM Awards ceremony, and among some of the awards, she snagged ACM Female Artist of the Year. Parton presented her with the trophy, which marked the first time the two ever met each other in person.

“I can’t believe I just met Dolly Parton, first of all, ‘Whoa!’” Wilson said upon accepting the honor. “I want to say, thank you to my father, thank you, Jesus, for this; this is absolutely insane.”

She went on to honor the other ladies nominated in the category. “And ladies in this category, thank you so much. I am up here because of you all. Because people like Dolly Parton paving the way,” she added. “I tell you what, everybody in this category didn’t just wind up there by happenstance; they have worked their fingers to the bone, they have put blood, sweat and tears, and years into this. Made so many sacrifices missing a lot of weddings and a lot of funerals. Not that I want to go to all of them anyway, but I’m just saying. Oh my goodness! For the little girls watching this: this right here is thanks to hard work. If you’re gonna be a dreamer, you better be a doer.”

Wilson Met Parton For The First Time At The Awards Show

Before even meeting each other, Parton had given glowing remarks about Wilson’s talent.

“I just saw the commercial with ‘Heart Like A Truck’ [and] I love that idea, and I heard her singing [and] I said to somebody, ‘Who is that singing? I love that song,” Parton shared.

“Wait until you hear her talk,” Garth Brooks, who was also on hand for the interview, told Parton of Wilson.

Dolly Parton; Photo Provided
Dolly Parton; Photo Provided

And it turns out that Wilson just so happened to catch Parton’s interview comments, telling STLToday, “I saw an interview of her, I think she did one yesterday, and she was talking about me, and I just about had a stroke right then and there.”

Additionally, Wilson is on the road as part of Luke Combs’ massive 2023 world tour. Other artists supporting the trek include Riley Green, Flatland Cavalry, and Brent Cobb. The tour wraps up on July 29 in Philadelphia, PA, at Lincoln Financial Field.

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Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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