Dolly Parton Releases Soulful, Gospel-Inspired Cover of Prince's 'Purple Rain': Listen!
2023/11/20

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It’s official: is a certified rock star. 

On Friday, the country music legend, 77, dropped her highly anticipated, rock-inspired album , which she released in part because she was . The expansive 30-track project is full of both originals and covers of rock classics, including a stand-out rendition of ’s “.” 

Although many of the other covers see the Grammy winner linking up with collaborators or even joining the original artist for an updated version of their song, Parton chose to honor the Purple One by singing “Purple Rain” solo. 

The “Jolene” singer stays true to the original, while emphasizing its gospellic elements by adding a backing chorus to transform it even more so into an ethereal rock hymn.

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A shredding country-rock guitar and the commanding tone of pop icon’s Tennessee twang carry Parton’s updated version of the iconic power ballad off the late music legend’s hit 1984 album. As soon as the choir comes in at about two minutes, and especially as the song bursts into a stunning arrangement of harmonies and ‘70s-esque guitar solos, Parton takes fans straight up to rock Heaven. 

“I only want to see you bathing in the purple rain,” the pop icon emotionally repeats, as if she’s calling out to the late rock star himself. 

Many fans have already taken to social media to shout-out “Purple Rain” as their favorite cover on

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. “Dolly Parton singing Purple Rain is honestly transcendent,” one user posted on the platform (formerly known as Twitter). 

Meanwhile, another fan said the track brought them to tears. “Dolly Parton's version of Purple Rain is breathtaking. I cry every time I listen to it,” they wrote on . “Thank you, @DollyParton, for this beautiful tribute to Prince.”

The song, which comes in at just under eight minutes, is among several rock epics on the new release (out on Butterfly Records and Big Machine). The “9 to 5” singer also teamed up with and her — known among fans and featured as Sasha Flute — for an mystical-sounding, nearly-eight-minute cover of

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's “.” Then to close out the project, she and jam out on their classic “.” 

Many other A-listers make an appearance throughout the project. Fellow legends like and join her on “,” she teams up with on “” and & the Blackhearts make an appearance on “.” There’s even a handful of contemporary names, including , who joined her godmother on a duet of and and , who offered their own flare on ’ “.” 

Parton spoke to PEOPLE last year into the about her vision for a rock project — which she then officially announced in May of this year.

"I'm gonna have to live up to it if I'm gonna be in the Hall of Fame," she said at the time, "so I'm gonna go ahead and do a rock 'n' roll album, and I'm gonna pull people from the rock 'n' roll field to sing with me on it.

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… I'm gonna actually pull on some of the greats and do a lot of the great rock songs."

She also explained that she planned on making with her husband in mind. "I'm doing the rock 'n' roll album because of him," she added. "I had often thought about doing a rock 'n' roll album for him with his favorite songs. And so when this all came about, I decided that I am gonna go ahead and do it. … It was just the perfect storm. OK, it's time."

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