Two entertainment icons, Dolly Parton and Olivia Newton-John, 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.
Video edited by Andrew Seger, produced by Green Hill, both the song and video are out today.
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.”
“This duet seems like the perfect bookend to their decades-long friendship,” says Michael Caprio, Newton-John’s longtime publicist and friend of nearly 25 years. “Knowing that Dolly was there at the start of Olivia’s US Country music career and here she is, one half of a duet of Olivia’s final recording, is pretty special.”
“Jolene” introduces Just The Two of Us, a 17-track duets album releasing May 5, 2023 (on both vinyl and CD) featuring Newton-John with artists including Mariah Carey, Michael McDonald, John Travolta, Barry Gibb, Vanessa Amorossi, Jon Secada, her daughter Chloe Lattanzi, and more, with some never-before-released on CD and vinyl recordings.
Four-time Grammy winner Newton-John will be remembered in a global memorial service in Melbourne, Australia on February 26, 2023, and will be livestreamed globally. More information on tune-in and special guests, to follow.
About Dame Olivia Newton-John:
Dame Olivia Newton-John’s appeal will forever be timeless – a vibrant, creative, and philanthropic individual adored by fans around the globe. With a career spanning over six decades with more than 100 million albums sold, Dame Olivia Newton-John’s successes include: four Grammy Awards, an Emmy Award, numerous Country Music, American Music, Billboard and People’s Choice Awards, ten #1 hits, more than 15 top 10 singles, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and over 32 albums released.
In 1978, her co-starring role with John Travolta in Grease catapulted Olivia into super-stardom, earned her a Golden Globe nomination and, to date the film remains one of the most successful movie musicals of all time.
Her other feature film credits include Funny Things Happen Down Under, Toomorrow, Xanadu, Two of A Kind, It’s My Party, Sordid Lives, Score: A Hockey Musical, and A Few Best Men. As one of the world’s most beloved musical artists, Billboard magazine ranks Olivia at #7 of “Greatest of All Time Hot 100 Female Artists,” and at #44 as one Billboard’s “Greatest Music Acts of All-Time.”
Her hit “Physical” was also named the “Sexiest Song of All-Time” by Billboard. In 1992, Olivia was diagnosed with breast cancer. Her personal journey with cancer led her to announce the creation of the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Wellness & Research Centre (ONJCWRC) in her hometown of Melbourne, Australia. In 2014, the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute, a not-for-profit medical research institute within the Centre was launched.
In December 2019, her Majesty the Queen named Olivia Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her services to music, cancer research and charity. In November 2020, Olivia and her husband, John Easterling, established the Olivia Newton-John Foundation Fund, an independent charity sponsoring global research into plant medicine for cancer with a specific emphasis on cannabis, which was a vital part of Newton-John’s cancer treatment. These investments in new scientific research will educate patients and their caregivers about kinder options for treating cancer. The charity is committed to realizing a world beyond cancer. For more information visit ONJFoundationFund.org.
In February 2021, Olivia and her daughter Chloe reunited for a second single, “Window in the Wall,” which debuted at #1 on the iTunes Music Video Chart and the Amazon A/C Chart. Their 2015 duet, “You Have to Believe,” reached #1 on the Billboard Dance Club Songs chart, becoming the first mother/daughter duo to top this Billboard chart. Just a few months after the release of “Window in the Wall,” Olivia scored another #1 hit on the Amazon A/C chart with “Put Your Head on My Shoulder,” a duet with music legend Paul Anka.
2021 also marked the 40th anniversary of her mega-hit, “Physical,” which originally spent 10 weeks at #1 on the Billboard chart, making it the number one song of the 1980s. The Deluxe Edition CD/DVD of Physical released in October 2021, reached #4 on the Amazon A/C chart and, the vinyl reissue release in June 2022 peaked at #13 on the Billboard vinyl albums chart and went to #52 on the main Billboard 200 Album chart, proving her ongoing popularity.
For more information visit OliviaNewton-John.com.
Stream/purchase/download “Jolene” HERE: https://lnk.to/Jolene-ONJDP
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