Lainey Wilson Reflects on Singing “I Will Always Love You” with Dolly Parton: Exclusive

Lainey Wilson scored her first No. 1 with “Things a Man Oughta Know” in 2020. Since then, her star has been on the rise. 2022 saw her release her breakthrough album Bell Bottom Country.  It brought her another chart-topper and a trophy case full of awards. More importantly, it gave the Baskin, Louisiana native the recognition she’d been working so hard to find since she moved to Nashville nearly 13 years ago. Since then, she’s been doing things she only dreamed of before, including singing with Dolly Parton.

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The last few years have been a whirlwind for Wilson. She went from being criminally underrated to being one of the biggest names in the genre. Now, she’s a Grammy-winning artist, the CMA Entertainer of the Year, and an inspiration for a new generation of artists who are yet to step forward to make their mark on the country music world. Earlier this year, she shared the stage with one of the artists who inspired her.

[RELATED: Exclusive: Lainey Wilson Discusses Tractor Supply Co. Partnership, Singing with Dolly Parton, Returning to ‘Yellowstone’ & More]

During a recent interview with American Songwriter, Wilson reflected on performing with Dolly Parton at the icon’s pet gala earlier this year.

Lainey Wilson Recalls Her Unforgettable Performance with Dolly Parton

Wilson and Parton shared the stage for a stirring rendition of “I Will Always Love You” during the event. When asked about the performance, she said, “Woo! That’s my one word for it. That’s all I have to say,” with a laugh.

Then, a little more seriously, she added, “She’s my biggest influence and to be able to stand next to her and look at her in the eyes and say, ‘I will always love you’ and for her to be looking at me in the eyes and say, ‘and I will always love you,’ that is a moment I’ll never forget.”

[RELATED: Watch Dolly Parton Make Lainey Wilson’s Dream Come True With Duet Performance of “I Will Always Love You”]

“that is one of my highlights of the year, right there, hands down,” she added. “To have her support me is everything.”

Lainey Wilson went on to say that she’s been learning from Dolly Parton for years. Now, though, that education is a little more hands-on. “The things that she has taught me without actually getting to know her is crazy. But, actually getting to know her, even being in her presence, I feel like I walk away learning something,” she explained.

About the country icon, Wilson said, “The way that she carries herself. The way that she walks into a room and has a light about her and you can tell that light goes deep. She shares that light with the world and shares her talent with the world. She’s not gonna stop until it’s over.”

Featured Image by Jason Kempin/Getty Images for American Greetings

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