On Friday (Sept. 9), the country icon and chart-topping superstar, who Parton previously dubbed “one of the greatest singers in the world,” shared the highly-anticipated new duet version of “9 to 5,” an award-winning tune that appears on Parton’s 1980 album, 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs.
“Nobody sings like Kelly Clarkson. She makes any song come alive,” Parton shared in a press release. “I love her voice on ‘9 to 5,’ and I am so proud I got to sing with her on it. I’m equally as proud of the wonderful arrangement and production by Shane McAnally.”
“I am so honored that Dolly asked me to reimagine this iconic song, ‘9 to 5,’ with her!” Clarkson added. “She is so talented, an inspiration to all women, and one of the sweetest people you will ever meet!”
Clarkson continued, “I hope y’all like what we did, but even if you don’t, remember I got to sing a duet with the magical Dolly Parton, and now have bragging rights til the end of time!”
Produced by Shane McAnally, the remake of the 1980 classic first premiered last spring in the documentary, Still Working 9 to 5. The film reunited the 9 to 5 cast, Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin and Dabney Coleman, and made its world premiere with multiple screenings at South By Southwest in March of 2022.
The pair completely revamped the tune and gave the song an entirely new sound. Parton and Clarkson’s duet features a more laid-back, slowed-down melody with Clarkson taking on lead vocals as Parton background vocals.
Throughout the tune, Clarkson blends her soothing vocals with Parton’s signature voice and flawlessly harmonizes with the country music icon on the chorus.
“Well, I tumble outta bed and stumble to the kitchen / Pour myself a cup of ambition / Yawn and stretch and try to come to life / Jump in the shower and the blood starts pumping / Out on the street, the traffic starts jumping / With folks like me on the job from 9 to 5,” the pair harmonize on the chorus.
Earlier this year, Parton made a special appearance on The Kelly Clarkson Show, during which she teased the much-anticipated duet and praised Clarkson’s vocals.
“I love how you took that and just made it your own and I got a chance to sing background for a change!” Parton said at the time. “But I’m really proud of that rendition of it and I think, hopefully, it’ll do well for us. It’s great in the documentary.”
“9 to 5” was penned solely by Parton and was written for the iconic comedy film of the same name. The song and film owe their titles to 9 to 5, an organization founded in 1973 with the aim of bringing about fair pay and equal treatment for women in the workplace.
The track went on to earn Parton an Academy Award nomination, four GRAMMY Award nominations as well as two GRAMMY Award wins for Best Country Song and Best Female Country Vocal Performance.
This marks the first time Parton and Clarkson have collaborated, although Clarkson made headlines after covering the legendary track in 2019 to promote her Emmy-award winning daytime series, The Kelly Clarkson Show.
Still Working 9 to 5, which will be released to the public on September 16, reflects on 9 to 5 and takes a deep dive into the impact the 1980 film had on the women’s movement of that time and now.
The documentary also featured Rita Moreno from the 9 to 5 TV series, Allison Janney from the Broadway musical, and other stars from the television and stage versions of the classic film. Additionally, activists and individuals closely associated with the women’s movement both now and then also appeared.
Parton recently announced a greatest hits album, dubbed Dolly Parton – Diamonds & Rhinestones: The Greatest Hits Collection, which is set to arrive on November 18. The project will feature 23 tracks, including some of Parton’s most recognizable hits such as her collaborations with Kenny Rogers (“Islands in the Stream” and “Real Love”) and Loretta Lynn/Tammy Wynette (“Silver Threads and Golden Needles”), as well as iconic songs like “9 to 5,” “Jolene” and more.
“Every one of these songs has a special memory behind it for me,” Parton said in a statement. “I hope that you make some special memories of your own while listening to them.”
Meanwhile, Kelly Clarkson is gearing up to kick off a new era of music with her forthcoming divorce album. Clarkson’s Emmy-award winning daytime series, The Kelly Clarkson Show, returns to NBC for Season 4, which will premiere on September 12.