Dolly Parton Drops Her Rob Halford Duet & Her Cover Of Heart’s “Magic Man”

Dolly Parton Drops Her Rob Halford Duet & Her Cover Of Heart’s “Magic Man”

The fabled Dolly Parton rock album looms ever-closer. Later this year, the country legend will release ROCKSTAR, the new LP that seems to exist as a response to Parton’s induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, an honor that Parton first planned to decline since she didn’t think she was rock ‘n’ roll enough. The covers-heavy ROCKSTAR tracklist, unveiled last month, is a truly unhinged document that features phrases like this one: “‘Stairway To Heaven’ (Feat. Lizzo & Sasha Flute).” (Sasha Flute isn’t even a person! It’s just Lizzo’s flute!) Parton already shared first single “World On Fire,” and now she’s dropped two more on us.

Look, I’ll be honest with you: Everything about this is weird. It’s the fun, loopy, unpredictable kind of weird, but it’s definitely weird. Case in point: We now get to hear Dolly Parton singing a duet with Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford, a combination that would’ve once been utterly unthinkable. Parton co-wrote the song “Bygones” with Nashville producer Kent Wells, and it’s all about past regrets, but it’s hard to process the substance of the track beyond the mere fact of Dolly Parton singing it with Rob Halford. The track also features Nikki Sixx and John 5, the current touring guitarist from Sixx’s band Mötley Crüe.

Dolly Parton has also shared her cover of Heart’s canonical 1975 classic “Magic Man,” which she recorded as a duet with Heart singer Ann Wilson. Parton has slightly rewritten “Magic Man,” turning it into a tribute Carl Thomas Dean, her husband of 57 years, and she’s renamed it “Magic Man (Carl Version).” Howard Leese, the longtime Heart guitarist who left the band in 1998, takes part, running back his classic Mini-Moog solo from the original song. Here’s what Dolly Parton sings about both records:

“Bygones” is an original song of mine featuring Rob Halford from Judas Priest with Nikki Sixx and John 5. It is one of my very favorites on the whole album. The song fits with so many couples, and coupling my voice with Rob, one of my all-time favorites, made it even more special.

I’ve always wanted a reason to sing “Magic Man” by Heart, and it was one of my first choices for the album. I was so happy that Ann Wilson agreed to sing it with me. Nobody can outsing Ann, but I gave it my darndest, and we added a few lines that were not in the original. We wanted to have a few things that made it seem like ours. Thank you, Nancy, for letting me fill in for you on this. Hope I’ve made you both proud. I think it’s magic!

Listen to both songs below.

ROCKSTAR is out 11/17 on Butterfly Records.

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