For the latest installment of her recent rock album, Dolly Parton gets emotional on her cover of 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up?” featuring Linda Perry, the song’s writer and original vocalist.
As expected, Dolly adds a subtle country twang to the new iteration with special weight to the song’s final words: “After years and my life is still tryin’ to get up that great big hill of hope for a destination,” as Linda lightens the composition with her the harmonies to be included on Parton’s upcoming Rockstar album.
Along with the contemporary duet is a video that features the now-77 year old Parton on Nashville’s Eakin Elementary stage as Perry strums her acoustic guitar. As the the duo sing, children appear in the venue and start forming an audience for the legendary musicians.
In a statement about the project, Parton said “First of all, I love Linda Perry.” “Second of all, I love this song written by Linda. Third of all, I love being a part of this video to try to make people think about what’s going on in this world today. Shout out to the little children that helped with the video! If our children don’t make it, then what will? Again, I ask, ‘What’s Up?’ Enjoy.”
“How is one supposed to react when the greatest and most prolific songwriter in the world wants to cover a song YOU wrote?” added Perry. “Her version of ‘What’s Up?’ is so good. Her spin on it made me feel like it was her song. No surprise there. Being on set making the video was a comfortable easy experience. The vibe on set was chill and Dolly and I got to catch up and laugh a lot. I could go on and on, obviously I’m a fan!”
For her November 17 released Rockstar LP, Dolly paid homage to rock & roll by debuting the single “World on Fire” at the ACM Awards in May, followed by “Bygones,” an original song featuring Judas Priest’s Rob Halford and a cover of Heart’s “Magic Man” with Ann Wilson. The country music legend also covered Queen’s conjoined-twin singles “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions” and also became part of the Fab Three on a cover of “Let It Be” with both Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.