A decade after Miley Cyrus stormed the charts with her smash hit “Wrecking Ball,” the pop star’s godmother Dolly Parton has put her own rhinestone-studded spin on the signature song.
The 77-year-old Parton released her cover of “Wrecking Ball” on Friday, October 20. The track opens with Parton’s melancholy piano before Cyrus, 30, joins in on the chorus. By the second verse, guitars and drums kick in, transforming the ballad into an emotional storm that leaves nothing standing. Parton and Cyrus’ vocals volley back and forth like lightning bolts before building to a crashing crescendo.
The two even sing a bit of Parton’s classic “I Will Always Love You” at the end, putting an already great cover over the top.
Parton has revealed that Cyrus’ original version deeply impacted her – so much so that she felt compelled to record her own take for her upcoming album Rockstar. “When I heard ‘Wrecking Ball,’ I almost wept in my car,” Parton said in a statement about the new collaboration.
“When the chorus hit, it struck me like a wrecking ball!” Parton added. “I thought, ‘How can a song be this great, and how talented is Miley Cyrus?’ I knew I had to record that song for my rock album, and have Miley duet with me on it! I love it, and I hope you do too!”
“Wrecking Ball” first came crashing onto the scene in August 2013. After debuting at No. 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, it climbed all the way to the top spot to become Cyrus’ first number one single. The song and its provocative video – featuring Cyrus first in a white tank top, underwear and boots before stripping down to just her Dr. Martens – became emblematic of her Bangerz era.
Since then, Cyrus has evolved as an artist, but her relationship with Parton has remained constant. Cyrus explained in 2019 how she bonded with Parton, saying: “[It was when] we started doing Hannah Montana, and she was playing my aunt. And she doesn’t really let me call her godmother. She likes fairy godmother much better.”
“I worked with Billy Ray for all those years when he had ‘Achy Breaky Heart,'” Parton said in 2019. “He opened for some of my shows back in the early days. That’s how we got to know each other, and I wrote a song called ‘Romeo’ that he appeared in the video for. When Miley came along, we decided she just had to be my fairy goddaughter.”
Parton and Cyrus have collaborated multiple times over the years. They sang a duet of “Jolene” on The Voice in 2016, starred together in T-Mobile’s 2022 Super Bowl commercial, and Cyrus welcomed Parton on her New Year’s Eve special last December.
Parton’s new album Rockstar arrives on November 17th. The 30-track release marks her first foray into rock and features loving covers of classic hits from the genre. It’s also packed with star power, including appearances from Sting, Debbie Harry, Rob Halford, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Sheryl Crow, and surviving Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.