Lainey Wilson Breaks Down In Tears After Being Surprised By Musical Hero Dolly Parton: “That’s Insane”

“I loved working with you on the ACMs and I’m so proud of you. I love that you love me because I love you right back,” Parton told Wilson in the clip.

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Andrew Wendowski

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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Posted on August 13, 2023

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Lainey Wilson, Dolly Parton; Photo Courtesy of Access Daily Interview Screenshot

Lainey Wilson was brought to tears when she was caught off guard by a surprise message from country music icon, Dolly Parton.

Wilson recently appeared on Access Daily to talk about her forthcoming duet with Parton with the show’s hosts Mario Lopez and Kit Hoover. During their discussion, the chart-topping singer/songwriter from Louisiana recalled the moment she met Parton for the first time when she presented her with the trophy for Female Vocalist Of The Year at the 2023 ACM Awards.

“The way that we met was at the ACMs, she was presenting Female Vocalist Of The Year and she called my name and that’s how I met her,” Wilson said, reminiscing on the moment she met her musical hero.

“It was the most surreal moment… It was like, I mean, one of the biggest moments of my life for two different reasons,” she explained. “She was just everything I imagined and more. They say don’t meet your heroes, but she’s just got a heart of gold. I think if we were all a little more like her the world would be a much better place.”

The reigning ACM Female Vocalist Of The Year then went on to detail what happened when meeting the “9 to 5” singer.

“I think I kind of just looked at her like a deer in the headlights and I told her everything she meant to me. We were walking off the stage and she said ‘I’m so excited about this new song me and you are doing together,’” Wilson added. “We’re doing something for The Judds’ tribute record and it’s just really cool to think that little Lainey was dreaming about being in the same room as Dolly Parton and now I’m getting to do music with her and she’s just… yeah, I could go on and on.”

Surprised With A Message From Parton

It was then when Hoover shocked Wilson with the ultimate surprise: a special message from Dolly Parton herself. The 77-year-old country music icon filmed a heartfelt message for the “Watermelon Moonshine” singer when she previously chatted with Hoover, who surprised Wilson with the clip.

A video then appeared of Parton sending a heartfelt message to Wilson.

“Hey Lainey, guess who? It’s your singing partner Dolly! You know we did a song ‘Mama He’s Crazy’ that’s going to be coming out soon together, but I loved working with you on the ACMs and I’m so proud of you. I love that you love me because I love you right back,” Parton said in the clip.

Lainey Wilson, Dolly Parton; Photo Courtesy of Access Daily Interview Screenshot
Lainey Wilson, Dolly Parton; Photo Courtesy of Access Daily Interview Screenshot

Lainey Wilson was left speechless, highlighting the profound impact Parton has on her career and life. She then took a moment to collect her thoughts while wiping away her tears.

“You’re going to have to call the makeup artist in here real quick,” Wilson joked. “That’s insane, that is insane. First of all that she even knows my name and just to have her support… When the people that you’ve looked up to for your entire life [and] when they start showing the support it makes me feel like ‘dang, I can really do this.’”

Watch the emotional moment unfold HERE.

Wilson Credits Parton As One Of Her “Biggest Inspirations”

Unbeknownst to Dolly Parton, Wilson had been talking about her desire to collaborate with Parton for numerous years. In 2022, during an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Wilson revealed that the legendary “9 To 5” star had been her “biggest inspiration.” She also admitted that it would be a dream come true to collaborate with Parton.

“I think we would get along just great,” Wilson said, before admitting, “I think we would be best buds.”

She continued, “I think [Dolly’s] best buds with anybody, probably. I’m telling you, she, 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 that she tells it how it is with a little bow wrapped on top, she’s just a good person, got 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, Dolly Parton; Photo Courtesy of Access Daily Interview Screenshot
Lainey Wilson, Dolly Parton; Photo Courtesy of Access Daily Interview Screenshot

Wilson Honored The Country Music Icon With “W.W.D.D.”

Wilson, who has been an avid fan of Parton since she was a little girl, even paid tribute to the “Jolene” singer on her debut album, Sayin’ What I’m Thinkin’, with a song titled “W.W.D.D. (short for What Would Dolly Do).”

“W-W-double-D/ That’s the bottom line for me/ My go-to compass and my golden rule/ When life rings my southern bell/ I just gotta ask myself/ Hell, what would Dolly do?/ I said, hell, what would Dolly do?/ Hey, what would Dolly do?” Wilson sings on the tune’s chorus.

Wilson And Parton Recorded A Duet For The Judds’ Tribute Album

Lainey Wilson and Dolly Parton recorded a cover of “Mama He’s Crazy” for the upcoming star-studded tribute album, titled A Tribute To The Judds, which arrives on October 27, 2023.

The project also features reimagined renditions of The Judds’ iconic hits by artists such as Ashley McBryde, Blake Shelton, Carly Pearce, Cody Johnson, Gabby Barrett, Gwen Stefani, Jamey Johnson, Jelly Roll, Megan Moroney and more.

A Tribute To The Judds Album Art
A Tribute To The Judds Album Art

“Watermelon Moonshine”

The news comes as Lainey Wilson’s single “Watermelon Moonshine” continues to make its way up the charts at Country radio.

Co-written by Wilson alongside Jordan Schmidt and Josh Kear, “Watermelon Moonshine” is a nostalgic ballad that finds the reigning ACM Female Artist Of The Year reflecting on young love.

“Drinkin’ watermelon moonshine / Cut the burn with a little lime / Parkin’ back in them kudzu vines / I was his and every bit of that boy was mine / Too young to know what love was / But we werе learnin’ on a sweet buzz / There’s never nothin’ like the first time / And mine’s always gonna taste like / Watermelon moonshine,” Wilson sings on the track’s chorus.

Recently, Wilson brought her single to life with a cinematic new music video, which serves as a beautiful tribute to the rollercoaster ride of teenage love.

“Watermelon Moonshine” appears on Wilson’s latest album, Bell Bottom Country, which arrived on October 28, 2022.

Additionally, Lainey Wilson recently wrapped her stint alongside Luke Combs on his 2023 World Tour, which came to a close at the end of July after making stops at stadiums across North America, including in cities such as Nashville, Chicago, and Philadelphia.

Later this year, the “Heart Like A Truck” singer will join Eric Church and HARDY on the road. Wilson will serve as support on select dates of Church’s The Outsiders Revival Tour. She will also join HARDY for the second leg of his the mockingbird & THE CROW tour, presented by Ebay Motors, which kicks off on August 31 in Knoxville, Tennessee at Knoxville Civic Coliseum.

Lainey Wilson; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Lainey Wilson; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

To close out the year on a high note, Wilson has her own set of performances lined up at The Theater at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, dubbed “Lainey Wilson: Wildflowers & Wild Horses.”

For more information on Lainey Wilson’s music and upcoming tour dates, visit her official website HERE.

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Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

See more posts from Andrew Wendowski