MusicPop CultureThe Randy Report

Olivia Newton-John & Dolly Parton Hit #1 With New Duet

Two entertainment icons and longtime LGBTQ allies, Dame Olivia Newton-John and Dolly Parton, come together for the first time to reimagine Dolly’s timeless hit “Jolene.”

The original version of the song was ranked No. 63 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of “the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time” in 2021.

This new version is the last song and music video Olivia recorded before her passing in 2022, and is included on her upcoming album Just the Two of Us: The Duets Collection.

Within 24 hours of its release, the music video hit #1 on the iTunes Pop Music Video chart, and the single reached #7 on the iTunes Pop chart moving past Rihanna, Taylor Swift, Sam Smith and Kim Petras.

Dolly and Olivia became friends after Olivia won 1974’s Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year award. To this day, Olivia is the only non-American born artist to win the award.

As a nod to their friendship, Olivia recorded an acclaimed version of Parton’s “Jolene” for her 1976 seventh studio album Come On Over which received critical praise from fans and industry alike.

“My first memory of Olivia was when her song ‘Let Me Be There’ was a hit. I have loved her ever since,” said Parton. “We had many occasions that we got to share together, either backstage or performing on the same shows, and I loved every moment that I ever got to spend with her. I’ve always been inspired by her grit, tenderness, willingness, and determination.”

The icon continues, “My last memory of Olivia was when I sang with her on my song ‘Jolene’ which she recorded for an album not so very long ago. I cannot wait to hear that album and Olivia may you rest in peace. You left a spot that one else will ever fill.”

“I have always wanted to record with Dolly,” said the late Newton-John during an interview in 2021. “She was always there for me and what she did for me early on in my career in Nashville is something I will never forget.”

A State Memorial Service to honor the internationally acclaimed singer, actor, philanthropist, and longtime LGBTQ ally will be held at 4pm on Sunday, February 26 at Hamer Hall, Arts Centre Melbourne. The event will be live-streamed for the world to see.

Watch the new music video above and you can pre-save the upcoming Just The Two Of Us here.

Olivia’s husband, John Easterling, and her daughter, Chloe Lattanzi, appeared on NBC’s The TODAY Show Friday morning in their first interview since Olivia’s passing.

Randy Slovacek

Randy Slovacek is the owner & editor of The Randy Report covering the daily news cycle in terms of politics, pop culture and entertainment news of interest to the LGBTQ community. He's also a senior editor at Instinct Magazine.

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