Lainey Wilson ‘Almost Passed Out’ After Learning She’d Be Recording A Duet With Her Hero, Dolly Parton

“I felt like I just had known her my whole life,” Wilson shared of the moment she finally met Parton.

By

Madeleine O’Connell

| Posted on

June 6, 2023

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Lainey Wilson, Dolly Parton; Photos by Gilbert Flores for PMC, ACM

When Lainey Wilson was asked to record a track for the yet-to-be-announced The Judds tribute album, it was an easy yes. However, that opportunity quickly turned into something even more special when she found out she would be joining forces with Dolly Parton for a duet of “Mama He’s Crazy.”

Penned by Kenny O’Dell, this 1984 release was originally recorded by The Judds and featured as the second single from their self-titled album, Wynonna & Naomi. Now, Parton and Wilson will have the opportunity to make the song their own as they honor the legacy of this former country music duo.

“Mama He’s Crazy”

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Dolly “Spilled The Beans”

Parton was first to speak on and confirm the forthcoming collaboration while catching up with ET Canada’s Brittnee Blair ahead of the 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards. 

“With Lainey Wilson…. I just did, with her, we’ve got a song we did for The Judds,” Parton explained. “They’re doing an album for The Judds for mental illness and some of the problems that [Naomi Judd] had. So they’re doing a whole album of the songs, and I got to do ‘Mama He’s Crazy’ with Lainey. I don’t even know her. So, I’m going to get a chance to visit.” 

After learning that Parton had “spilled the beans,” Wilson happily spoke on the topic during a recent interview with Bobby Bones on The Bobby Bones Show

“I think she kind of spilled the beans because I didn’t know I was even able to talk about it. And then I saw something on the [Insta]gram that said, ‘Dolly talks about doing a song with Lainey.’ And I was like, cool, let’s talk about it.”

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The “Hillbilly Hippie” singer went on to share her awe-filled reaction to learning she would be getting into the studio with Parton herself. 

“Mandelyn, my manager, called me and said, ‘we’ve got this opportunity to be a part of The Judds tribute record.’ And I immediately was like, ‘well, duh.’ I mean, they’re the soundtrack to my childhood,” she said before adding. “And then she came back and said, ‘they’re thinking about the song.’ And I said, ‘okay. Done.’ And she said, ‘well, they’re thinking about getting Dolly on it too.’ I about passed out.”

Musical Hero

This duet is a long time coming for the Louisiana native has previously expressed great interest in one day getting to work with the “9 To 5” singer. 

Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Rich Polk for PMC
Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Rich Polk for PMC

“I think we would get along just great. We haven’t met yet. We have not met, but I think we would be best buds,” Wilson previously told Entertainment Tonight. “I think [Dolly’s] best buds with anybody, probably. I’m telling you, Dolly Parton, hands down, [is] one of the biggest inspirations, I mean, for so many people around the world. I mean, who she is, the way she tells it how it is with a little bow wrapped on top, she’s just a good person and has a heart of gold. I think if we were all a little bit more like her, the world would be a much better place.”

With great enthusiasm, Wilson then revealed that Parton was on board to record “Mama He’s Crazy” before they’d even come face-to-face yet. 

“At that point, we had not even met, but they said she seemed overjoyed to do it,” Wilson explained. “And I had went in and cut my vocal and then the week later she ended up kind of going back and cutting some harmonies and doing her verse too.”

The Moment They Met

Lainey Wilson and Dolly Parton at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards from Ford Center at The Star on May 11, 2023 in Frisco, Texas; Photo by PMC for ACM
Lainey Wilson and Dolly Parton at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards from Ford Center at The Star on May 11, 2023 in Frisco, Texas; Photo by PMC for ACM

The moment the pair of female country stars finally got to meet was a memorable one as it happened on stage of the 2023 ACM Awards when Parton presented Wilson with her Female Artist of the Year Award. 

I can’t believe that’s how I met her. I mean, I was sitting there just watching her and she was about to present it, and I just felt like, oh my gosh, she’s literally five, 10 feet away from me,” Wilson shared with Bones. “And I mean, this is my hero, period. Hands down, this is my hero. And it was weird. As soon as I hugged her neck, I felt like I just had known her my whole life. And I think she just kind of makes people feel that way in general.”

“But she’s taught me so much, and I’ve never even, until then, had not even met her,” she continued. “So we were walking off stage and she grabbed my hand and she’s like, ‘I love our song that we did together.’ I’m like, I’m going to just go home now.”

A Memorable Night

Not only did Wilson walk away from that night with the memory of meeting her musical hero for the very first time, but she also took home a total of four wins in the following categories: Female Artist of the Year, Album Of The Year (Bell Bottom Country), Music Event Of The Year (“Wait In The Truck” feat. HARDY), Visual Media Of The Year for “Wait In The Truck.” 

Lainey Wilson at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards from Ford Center at The Star on May 11, 2023 in Frisco, Texas; Photo by Gilbert Flores, PMC, ACM Awards
Lainey Wilson at the 58th Academy of Country Music Awards from Ford Center at The Star on May 11, 2023 in Frisco, Texas; Photo by Gilbert Flores, PMC, ACM Awards

As listeners eagerly await the duet between these female artists, Wilson is currently on the road in support of Luke Combs’ World Tour. This trek kicked off March 25 in Arlington, TX and brings the country stars to stadiums across the U.S. 

In addition to touring with Combs this summer, Wilson is also expected to appear at several festivals including CMA Fest, Lollapalooza, Watershed, and more.

A complete list of Lainey Wilson’s upcoming tour dates can be viewed HERE.

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Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.