WE LOVE Dolly Parton. Parton made a surprise appearance at the Newport Folk Festival in Rhode Island to sing her hit song, “I will always love you,” with openly queer music artist Brandi Carlile.
After a few songs from The Highwomen, the country supergroup of Carlile, Maren Morris, Amanda Shires, and Natalie Hemby, Parton strutted out in her yellow rose-covered jumpsuit to perform as part of an all-woman super jam called ♀♀♀♀: The Collaboration. As she explained to the Saturday night crowd, “Me and Rhode Island have a lot in common. We’re little, but we’re loud.” It was clear: Parton was here to make a little noise.The fact that these two women sang this love song side-by-side, sometimes looking into each other’s eyes, turned this classic into a gay anthem. It’s something Carlile is also doing with The Highwomen’s new single, “If She Ever Leaves Me,” which is the rare country song not about heterosexual love. In fact, during The Highwomen’s Newport debut, they referred to it as their “gay country song.”
Watch their duet below.