Carly Pearce Teams Up With Her ‘Idol’ Dolly Parton For ‘9 To 5’ Duet

Pearce and Parton thrilled viewers during Dolly Parton’s Pet Gala with an epic performance.

By

Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

February 21, 2024

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Carly Pearce, Dolly Parton; Photo by Jon Morgan/CBS

Carly Pearce experienced a full-circle moment with Dolly Parton when she joined forces with the country music icon to perform “9 To 5” during Dolly Parton’s Pet Gala

Pearce Previously Worked At Dollywood

Parton’s co-host Jane Lynch introduced the pair of GRAMMY Award winners and reflected on Pearce’s time working at Dollywood

“When I was 16 years old, I was working ‘9 to 5’ collecting beer cans near the railroad track. Then this next performer was 16, she was working ‘9 to 5’ for Dolly Parton as a performer in Smokey Mountain Christmas at Dollywood,” Lynch said, “And now, 16 years later, she’s here performing ‘9 to 5’ with Dolly Parton. Get ready for some magic, folks!”

A New Version Of ‘9 To 5’

Coordinating in black, white, and silver dresses, Pearce and Parton walked onto the stage holding hands. They were all smiles as the Country Music Hall of Famer shouted, “You go, Carly! This is my Dollywood girlfriend here! She got her new version of it.”

Pearce and Parton delivered a slowed-down interpretation of the timeless track. Alternating verses, the duo seamlessly blended their voices throughout the chorus.

They sang, “Workin’ 9 to 5, what a way to make a livin’/ Barely gettin’ by, it’s all takin’ and no givin’/ They just use your mind, and they never give you credit/ It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it…”

Later, they picked up the tempo of the song, returning it to its original state.

An All-Star Rendition Of “Jolene”

To close the show, Pearce and Parton were joined by Chris Janson, Tigirlily Gold, Billy Ray Cyrus, Firerose, Grace Bowers, and more for an all-star performance of “Jolene” in celebration of its 50th anniversary. 

Before performing with her musical hero, Pearce made her way down the pink carpet with her two pups, Johnny and June, in tow. The adorable dogs were dressed in outfits from Dolly Parton’s Doggy Parton collection.

Carly Pearce with her Dogs, Johnny and June; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Carly Pearce with her Dogs, Johnny and June; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

While on the pink carpet, Pearce shared, “Dolly has been such a huge influence. She inducted me into the Grand Ole Opry and to get to be able to perform with her really feels like I’m connecting every dot. 

At just 16 years old, Pearce made a significant change in her life by leaving her home in Kentucky to move to Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, after securing a performance opportunity at Dollywood.

“I worked six shows a day, five days a week at Dollywood for two years,” Pearce said during a recent interview on the Sony podcast, Best Friend Energy with Clea Shearer & Joanna Teplin

Carly Pearce; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Carly Pearce; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

During this period, the young artist focused on refining her performance abilities, ultimately laying the groundwork for her transition to Nashville, where she eventually inked a recording contract. Since then, she has achieved remarkable success in country music, boasting numerous chart-topping hits and earning accolades such as ACM Awards, CMA Awards, and a GRAMMY.

Performing With Dolly Was An “Honor” For Pearce

“Such an honor to get to sing with one of my absolute idols AND bring Johnny & June along! Peep the last slide to see how excited June was to be in a dress,” Pearce said following the show about the chance to share the stage with Parton. 

About Dolly Parton’s Pet Gala

Dolly Parton’s Pet Gala aired on CBS on Wednesday, Feb. 21. The two-hour event featured a one-of-a-kind canine runway show unveiling the finest in dog fashion. The superstar pups sported dog versions of Dolly Parton’s most iconic outfits, as well as elaborately adorned ensembles from Dolly’s Doggy Parton pet line.  

Performers included Lainey Wilson, Carly Pearce, Chris Janson, Grace Bowers, Joy Oladokun,  and KC from KC and the Sunshine Band. 

Additionally, Iain Armitage from “YOUNG SHELDON,” Drew Barrymore, Kristen Bell, Kristin Chenoweth, Billy Ray Cyrus and Firerose, Margaret Cho, Neil Patrick Harris, Carson Kressley, Jim Nantz, Jessica Simpson, and many more made special appearances during the event.

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Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.