Beyoncé Covers Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ on Cowboy Carter Album

Beyoncé Covers Jolene
(Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

Beyoncé’s much-anticipated album, “Cowboy Carter,” is already making waves, particularly with her cover of Dolly Parton’s timeless classic, Jolene. Parton herself hinted at this collaboration, suggesting that Beyoncé might sample or interpolate “Jolene” for her album. True to speculation, Beyoncé not only covers the song but also alters its lyrics and tone to fit her fiery style.

Parton makes her presence felt on the album, appearing in two cameos. In one, she introduces the trap-meets-country track “Tyrant,” and in another, she delivers a witty interlude just before Beyoncé’s rendition of “Jolene,” playfully referencing Beyoncé’s song “Sorry” with a nod to “Becky with the good hair.”

Beyoncé’s take on “Jolene” diverges from the original, as she swaps out pleading with a rival for a direct warning. Instead of fearing her man being stolen, Beyoncé’s Jolene is advised to tread carefully: “I can easily understand why you’re attracted to my man / But you don’t want this smoke, so shoot your shot for someone else.” The cover retains the essence of the original while infusing it with Beyoncé’s signature empowerment.

Parton herself fueled speculation about the cover, encouraging fans to listen to the original “Jolene” while awaiting Beyoncé’s version. This cover marks another instance of a Black female artist interpreting Parton’s work, following Whitney Houston’s iconic rendition of “I Will Always Love You.”

Parton had expressed her hope that someone like Beyoncé would cover “Jolene,” and her prediction came true with *Cowboy Carter*. Despite the album not being strictly country, Beyoncé’s inclusion of “Jolene” signals her continued impact on the genre and her commitment to expanding the presence of Black artists within it.