Lil Nas X is surprising people more and more every day, and this week, he did so by covering an iconic Dolly Parton song: “Jolene.”
Fresh off the release of his debut studio album, Montero, the Grammy winner performed a cover of Parton’s 1973 hit “Jolene” during an appearance at the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge. He also performed “Dead Right Now” and “That’s What I Want,” both from the new project.
While fans were shocked by this cover choice, Lil Nas X and Parton are actually mutual fan. Back in 2019, the country singer told Elle that she had an opportunity to feature on Lil Nas X‘s breakout hit “Old Town Road,” but instead, she hopes to work with him on another project in the future.
“I had an opportunity to be part of that [song], but it had done so well with so many people,” she said, referencing the released remixes of the track including one with BTS, Billy Ray Cyrus, Lil Wayne, and Diplo, among others. “I thought, ‘Well, I’ll wait and do something later on. No point in going down that same Old Town Road. We got other roads to travel.’”
She continued, speaking about the song’s success: “I was so happy for him.”
Just last week, Lil Nas X released his first album, which he admits was a vulnerable experience. Leading up to Montero’s release, he told PEOPLE, “I’m super excited for everyone to hear this piece of art I’ve been working on for such a long time.”
He continued, “You’re getting a lot of stories about me. You’re getting a lot of stories about my past and where I want to be in my love life. But they’re also a bop. I feel like I finally found a great balance between being as real as possible within my music and making a hit song.”
While Dolly Parton wasn’t a part of this album, the singer did get some help from some big names, having features from Jack Harlow, Megan Thee Stallion, Elton John, Doja Cat, and Miley Cyrus--who just so happens to be the country singer’s God daughter.
Hopefully, we get to see a collaboration from Dolly and Lil Nas X sometime soon.