Lainey Wilson and Dolly Parton Pay Tribute To The Judds With Heartfelt Rendition Of ‘Mama He’s Crazy’

Wilson admits she cried the first time she heard her duet with Parton.


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

October 27, 2023


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Lainey Wilson, Dolly Parton ; Photos Provided

Lainey Wilson joined forces with her musical hero Dolly Parton to honor The Judds with a cover of “Mama He’s Crazy” on the just-released A Tribute To The Judds album. 

What Is The New Song With Dolly Parton and Lainey Wilson?

The current CMA Entertainer Of The Year nominee takes on the first verse of the tune before the Country music icon joins in for the next verse. Together, their voices blend seamlessly, creating a beautiful harmony.

“Mama, he’s crazy, crazy over me/ And in my life is where he says/ He always wants to be/ I’ve never been so in love/ He beats all I’ve ever seen/ And mama, he’s crazy, he’s crazy over me,” Wilson and Parton sing on the chorus.

“Mama He’s Crazy”

YouTube video

Wilson grew up listening to The Judds, so taking part in the tribute album was a “no-brainer” for her. 

“They were the soundtrack to my childhood, The Judds,” Wilson told Country Now and other media outlets during a recent ASCAP-hosted No.1 party celebrating her hit, “Heart Like A Truck.” “And I’ve gotten to know Wynonna and she’s even better than I had imagined. She is a spitfire, just like I thought she would be. But when they told me that I’d be doing ‘Mama, He’s Crazy.’ I was like, oh my gosh, this is perfect.’”

How Did Lainey Wilson Meet Dolly Parton?

Adding Parton into the mix was the icing on the cake for Wilson. “And they said, well, what if you and Dolly did it together? I was like, ‘I’m done. I can go to the house now. I’m done, send me home!”

Wilson says they recorded their vocals separately due to scheduling conflicts, so she didn’t get a chance to meet Parton during the recording process, however, that changed at the 2023 ACM Awards when they had the opportunity to meet. 

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

“So at the ACMs this year when she announced a Female Artist of the Year, that was the very first time that we had actually met, but we had already recorded the song. But when I was up there as we were walking off the stage, she grabbed my arm, she said, ‘Lainey, I love our song We did together.’ And that right there, that was one of the most memorable moments I will ever have.”

She Cried The First Time She Heard Their Duet

Lainey Wilson also revealed her reaction to hearing her collaboration with Dolly Parton for the first time.

“I have a video of it somewhere. Somebody captured it. I was on tour with Luke Combs somewhere up north playing a stadium show, and I boohooed cried,” she admitted. ”And I think everybody feels this way about Dolly, but I do feel like I just know her from a different lifetime and it’s just such an honor to hear our voices right next to each other because she’s such a huge inspiration to me on and off the stage.”

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

“Mama He’s Crazy” was written by Kenny O’Dell and recorded by The Judds for their 1984 EP, Wynonna & Naomi, and later re-released as part of the duo’s debut album, Why Not Me. It was the mother-and-daughter duo’s first No.1 single, according to Billboard.

Wilson and Parton’s collaboration appears on the star-studded A Tribute To The Judds in celebration of the duo’s 40th anniversary.

Who Is Singing On The Judds Tribute Album?

The 14-track project also features reimagined renditions of The Judds’ iconic hits by artists such as Ashley McBryde, Blake Shelton, Carly Pearce, Cody Johnson, Gabby Barrett, Gwen Stefani, Jamey Johnson, Jelly Roll, Megan Moroney, Trisha Yearwood, LeAnn Rimes, Jennifer Nettles, and more.

Every track on the tribute album was developed by The Judds’ original producer and six-time Grammy award winner, Brent Maher except for “Cry Myself to Sleep” which was produced by four-time CMA winner Cactus Moser, who is also the husband of Wynonna Judd.

A Tribute To The Judds
A Tribute To The Judds

Marking The Judds’ four-decade milestone since their signing to RCA Records under the guidance of Joe Galante, who not only acted as the project’s executive producer but also played a pivotal role in releasing the album with Renee Bell. Galante’s prior collaboration with The Judds led to a series of remarkable achievements, including 6 multi-platinum studio albums, 5 Grammy Awards, 9 CMA Awards, 8 ACM Awards, and an esteemed induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

“To have all of these artists, most of which are my friends, come together and lend their voices and artistry to reimagine these songs, is so special. These songs are so timeless and I am so excited for them to live on for generations to come,” Wynonna Judd shared in a statement.

A Tribute To The Judds is available to stream now.

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Lauren Jo Black

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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 and her work being featured on 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.