Beyoncé Flips “Jolene” Into A Country Sequel To 2016’s “Sorry”

COWBOY CARTER is already shaping up to be one of Beyoncé‘s best albums. As confirmed via the official tracklist, the Houston native covered Dolly Parton‘s timeless gem, “Jolene,” but was preceded by an interlude from the country star.

In the voice note, Parton said, “Hey Ms. Honey Bee, it’s Dolly P. You know that hussy with the good hair you sing about,” referencing Bey’s record, “Sorry” from Lemonade. She teased, “[It] reminded me of someone I knew back when except she has flaming locks of auburn hair. Bless her heart. Just hair of a different color, but it hurts just the same.”

Bey lyrically takes a different route than Dolly P, warning Jolene to watch her step rather than cowering in the fear of sis stealing her man.

 “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,” she sings. “I had to have this talk with you ’cause I hate to have to act the fool / Your peace depends on how you move, Jolene.”

Ahead of the release, Parton urged fans to stream the original while we wait for Bey’s rendition. Her cover of “Jolene” would be the second record from Parton’s catalog to be covered by a Black female artist that would potentially make history, following the meteoric success of Whitney Houston’s cover of “I Will Always Love You.”

Parton manifested that Bey would cover “Jolene” at some point. In 2020, the country legend expressed interest, telling Big Issue, “Nobody’s ever had a really big hit record on it. I’ve always hoped somebody might do someday, someone like Beyoncé.”

Following the confirmation of Bey’s new album and era, Parton correctly predicted that she covered “Jolene.” The 78-year-old told Knox News in early March 2024, “I think she’s recorded ‘Jolene’ and I think it’s probably gonna be on her country album, which I’m very excited about that. I love her! She’s a beautiful girl and a great singer.”

Despite COWBOY CARTER being a “Beyoncé album,” not a country album as assumed, we anticipate that Bey will continue to make history for Black artists within country music—regardless of any shade or backlash.