Country star and gay icon Dolly Parton responded to rapper Lil Nas X’s recent cover of her 1974 hit “Jolene” in the most Dolly way.
Lil Nas X released the cover — recorded in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge — last week, and it had received more than 1.5 million views on YouTube as of Thursday afternoon.
In a tweet Wednesday, Parton said she “was so excited” when someone told her that Lil Nas X had covered “Jolene.”
“I had to find it and listen to it immediately … and it’s really good,” she wrote, adding, “I was surprised and I’m honored and flattered.”
Lil Nas X, who recently released his debut album, “Montero,” seemed awestruck in his response to her on Wednesday evening: “HOLY S—,” he wrote.
Parton shared her statement about the cover on all of her social media accounts, including Facebook and Instagram, where she added a photo of her and Lil Nas X both donning fringed outfits.
The LGBTQ community, in particular, loved the exchange.
Lil Nas X came out as gay in 2019 and has celebrated his queerness in his music and videos.
Parton has also long been considered a gay icon for supporting LGBTQ rights well before others in her industry. Though it’s unclear exactly when she came out in support of same-sex marriage, she made statements in support of it as early as 2009.
In a 2014 interview with Billboard magazine, Parton also said she doesn’t think LGBTQ people should be judged for being who they are.
“They know that I completely love and accept them, as I do all people,” she told Billboard when asked about her large gay following. “I’ve struggled enough in my life to be appreciated and understood. I’ve had to go against all kinds of people through the years just to be myself.”
She added, “I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are, and to love who they love. I don’t think we should be judgmental. Lord, I’ve got enough problems of my own to pass judgment on somebody else.”
Some fans noted that the last time a huge country start publicly supported Lil Nas X was in 2019, when Billy Ray Cyrus defended the rapper’s song “Old Town Road,” which Billboard had removed from the Hot Country Songs chart because it did “not embrace enough elements of today’s country music to chart in its current version,” Billboard said in a statement at the time.
Shortly after that, Cyrus joined Lil Nas X on a remix of the song, which became the longest-leading No. 1 single in Hot 100 history, remaining at the top for 19 weeks, according to Billboard.
Fans begged for a collaboration between the rapper and Parton.
The Queen of Country and Lil Nas X, whom fans have taken to affectionately calling “King,” haven’t yet responded to the requests.
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