The Kelly Clarkson Show is giving fans a behind-the-scenes look at rehearsals for Thursday’s (Dec. 1) episode, which will feature an interview and duet from Kelly Clarkson and Dolly Parton.
The just-released clip showcases Clarkson and Parton rehearsing their duet together and gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the superstars on set together.
In the clip, Kelly Clarkson’s musical director, Jason Halbert, shared a few details of the upcoming performance and how the music was arranged for the show.
“We have the legendary Dolly Parton coming in and not only is she coming in. She’s performing a duet with Kelly,” Halbert said. ”Kelly and Dolly already recorded a new reimagined version of ‘9 to 5’ last year. So cool. So vibey. So, when we were putting together the arrangement for the show, it just seemed like we all wanted to play the original version of Dolly Parton’s ‘9 to 5’ too as much as we love the other one. So we actually blended the two together, it’s so cool and hearing Dolly’s iconic voice on it and we had to pull out all the stops for it. We added in a horn section, we recreated the typewriter sound from the original version. It’s just such a fun song to play and such a cool part of history. Couldn’t be more excited.”
Their duet will air as a special segment of “Kellyoke” during Thursday’s show.
Their performance on The Kelly Clarkson Show comes just weeks after the release of the reimagined version of Parton’s iconic hit, which appears on Parton’s 1980 album, 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs.
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.
“Nobody sings like Kelly Clarkson. She makes any song come alive,” Parton previously 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!”
She 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!”
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 sings background vocals.
Throughout the tune, Clarkson blends her soothing vocals with Parton’s 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,” Clarkson sings on the chorus as Parton’s stuns on background vocals.
“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 9to5, 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 Awards 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 show.
Still Working 9 to 5, which was 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 released her greatest hits album, dubbed Dolly Parton – Diamonds & Rhinestones: The Greatest Hits Collection, which arrived on November 18. The project features 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 previously 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.