Dolly Parton defies husband's warning with Led Zeppelin cover on new album

Virgin Radio

30 Dec 2023, 15:58

Credit: Getty/Instagram/@dollyparton

Country icon, Dolly Parton, takes on Led Zeppelin classic, defying husband's caution.

Dolly Parton, the revered country legend, has embarked on a bold musical journey with her latest album, Rockstar, steering away from her traditional genre. However, it seems her decision to cover Led Zeppelin's timeless classic, Stairway To Heaven, wasn't met with unanimous enthusiasm, especially from her husband, Carl Dean.

In an interview with Classic Rock magazine, Dolly shared the candid conversation she had with her Led Zeppelin enthusiast husband. Carl, a devoted fan of the iconic rock band, expressed concern about Dolly taking on Stairway To Heaven, anticipating potential criticism.

Dolly revealed: "My husband is a huge fan of Led Zeppelin and thinks 'Stairway To Heaven' is one of the classic songs of all time. So he was kind of concerned about me doing it."

Despite Carl's reservations, Dolly, known for her unwavering determination, forged ahead with the cover. She acknowledged her husband's apprehension but stood firm in her decision.

"He said, 'I don’t know if you need to mess with that, because I think you’ll get a lot of criticism. People don’t want other people messing around with that song.' But I did it anyhow."

Dolly, who had previously approached the track with a 'countrified' rendition in her 2002 album Halos and Horns, wanted to tackle the song in its original form this time.

Her determination stemmed not only from her desire to prove herself but also to showcase her versatility.

"I've taken some rock things off and on over my career and countrified them. I did the first 'Stairway To Heaven' in the bluegrass gospel field. But I decided, for this album, I wanted people to know that I could sing it in its original form. And I wanted, more than anything, for Carl to know that I could do that too. So I decided to be true to its form."

Her husband's initial reaction was laced with humour, as Dolly recalled: "And he made a joke about it at first, 'I think that was more like 'Stairway To Hell' than 'Stairway To Heaven.'"

However, Dolly's perseverance paid off, and Carl eventually admitted that she had delivered a commendable rendition. Dolly shared: "I have to add that Carl said [afterwards], 'Y’know, that’s pretty good.' That’s really something coming from him."

In her musical exploration with Rockstar, Dolly Parton continues to defy expectations and showcase her unparalleled talent, earning recognition even from the toughest critic—her husband.