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Lil Nas X performs ‘Jolene’, BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge
Via YouTube/BBCRadio1VEVO

Lil Nas X goes full country with a cover of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’

The rapper also performed tracks from his debut album, Montero, in BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge

Lil Nas X made his name with the huge country rap hit “Old Town Road”, and his latest cover could be considered a return to his roots — minus the rap. 

During a performance for BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge (September 21), the musician performed a pretty faithful rendition of the 1973 track “Jolene”, by country star, vaccine hero, and soon-to-be-novelist Dolly Parton. It seems he’s making good on his promise to return to his “cowboy era” once his “gay era” is over.

“This song is kind of like beautifully sad, you know?” he comments on the cover during the radio show. “I like the little twang, like the country twang in it. So I was like, ‘Lemme try this out.’”

Nas’s Live Lounge appearance also saw him perform songs from his recently-released debut album, Montero, including title track “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)”, “Dead Right Now”, and “That’s What I Want”.

Given that Nas has made it his mission to collaborate with every member of the Cyrus family — having previously enlisted Billy Ray Cyrus for a remix of “Old Town Road”, and Miley Cyrus for his Montero track “Am I Dreaming” — the cover of “Jolene” seems like a pretty logical tangent. Besides being Parton’s goddaughter, Miley Cyrus is a fellow fan of “Jolene”, which has earned a place among her most iconic covers.

Earlier this week (September 20), Lil Nas X also unveiled a different kind of collaboration, teaming up with Jean Paul Gaultier to drop an update on the label’s archival mesh top, emblazoned with the Montero cover art (and released as a limited run of 666 pieces).

In terms of future collabs, meanwhile, he’s apparently been talking to Lizzo, telling Radio 1: “I feel that it’s definitely going to happen… It’s going to be a banger bop, everyone’s going to love it and (Radio 1 is) going to play it 3 billion times.” 

Watch his cover of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” below.