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Beyoncé’s “Jolene” cover makes Dolly P proud (Op-Ed)

Beyoncé’s recent dive into the country music genre has been nothing short of a surprise, as she has established herself as a pop and R&B icon for the majority of her music career. 

With several tracks for album “Cowboy Carter” making waves online and on social media platforms, her latest track, a fun twist on Dolly Parton’s classic country hit “Jolene”, is a bold choice for fans of both artists alike. 

While Parton’s “Jolene” takes on a somber, desperate tone through pleas to Jolene to not pursue a relationship with her lover, despite her obvious beauty and allure, Queen B takes a noticeably different approach with the track. 

With a more upbeat and pop-centric backing track, Beyoncé sings to Jolene in a powerful, nearly threatening fashion, insisting that she should not pursue any attraction to her partner as they are in a long-term, committed relationship, and will stand by each other despite any outside obstacles. She warns Jolene of this, and admits that although she may be beautiful, it is not enough to disturb their relationship, and she should not play any games or disrespectful moves towards Beyoncé, as Jolene’s peace and sense of wellbeing depends on her avoiding this situation. 

While both songs have powerful messages and an emotional backing, some fans are taking issue with B’s version, citing a departure from the original song and a loss of the message. While it’s true that these two songs do have different takes on the same story and concept, fans of Parton and Beyoncé should take it upon themselves to see how the artists feel about the track. 

According to CBS News, Parton has long-wished for Beyoncé to cover “Jolene”, alluding to the possibility in a 2022 interview on The Daily Show

I don’t know if she’s even got the message, but wouldn’t that be killer?” Parton said.”I would just love to hear ‘Jolene’ done in just a big way, kind of like how Whitney [Houston] did my ‘I Will Always Love You.’ Just someone that can take my little songs and make them powerhouses.”

Parton has also expressed her support for the track on social media, posting a message on Instagram reading “Wow, I just heard Jolene. Beyonce is giving that girl some trouble and she deserves it! Love, Dolly P”.

Before fans come running to the aid of artists whose music they fear has been tainted or ruined by covers, samples, or reimaginings, be sure to remember that artists are often 10 steps ahead of the public when it comes to music releases, and if they’re worth their salt, they won’t mind a new take on an old classic, no matter the genre. 

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