Legendary singer Dolly Parton has had many enduring friendships over the course of her life. According to Prevention, she’s still good friends with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, her co-stars from the 1980 hit movie 9 to 5. Parton has also mentored singers, like Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter, Miley — who is also Parton’s goddaughter.
Parton’s friendships with her former co-stars and fellow singers may have been unsurprising, but there’s one friendship she has that is truly unexpected. The country crooner is actually good friends with outspoken ’80s rocker Linda Perry. She was the lead singer of the punk rock band 4 Non Blondes and has since become a well-known producer and songwriter for artists like Christina Aguilera, Gwen Stefani, and Pink.
So, how did Parton and Perry become friends? Read on to find out how this ’80s punk rock star and country legend crossed paths to form a strong bond.
Jennifer Aniston helped introduce Dolly Parton and Linda Perry
Former Friends star Jennifer Aniston actually had a hand in introducing Dolly Parton and Linda Perry. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Aniston was executive producing and starring in the 2018 Netflix movie Dumplin’, which was directed by Anne Fletcher. They had a few ideas for the film’s music and wanted Parton to write the theme song with Perry. “They just kept flinging stuff at me and I just kept saying ‘Sure!’ And I didn’t know Linda, actually, so I was just being a good sport,” Parton told THR. She also told the publication that she rarely likes writing music with other artists, but she and Perry “clicked like you wouldn’t believe.”
In a THR interview with Perry, the punk rocker and producer said she jumped at the chance to work with Parton right away. “Honestly, the movie wasn’t my inspiration,” Perry told the publication. “Dolly Parton was my inspiration — what I want from Dolly Parton right now in 2018.”
Once they started writing songs together, they couldn’t stop. Parton and Perry were only supposed to write the theme song, “Girl in the Movies,” but they wound up with six songs — which Aniston and Fletcher loved and put on the movie’s soundtrack. But those songs weren’t the only signs of their partnership’s success.
Dolly Parton and Linda Perry's collaboration earned award nominations
Not only did Dolly Parton and Linda Perry work well together on the Netflix movie Dumplin’, the theme song they wrote for it, “Girl in the Movies,” earned several award nominations. Together, Parton and Perry received a Best Original Song nod at the Golden Globes and Best Song Written for Visual Media at the Grammys. To promote the movie in October 2018, Parton and Perry performed the song together at a Hollywood luncheon at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills, according to Billboard. Since then, Perry has continued to perform with Parton. In 2019, the punk rocker performed with the country singer at the MusiCares Person of the Year Tribute that honored Parton, according to Rolling Stone.
Then, a year later in April 2020, the punk rocker appeared in A&E’s documentary special, Biography: Dolly. In the special (via Heavy), Perry talked about why she admired Parton so much. “She’s mastered the design of how to be a woman and succeed in this business without making a man feel bad. In fact, without making anybody feel bad,” Perry said. “She’s still writing songs, she’s got like over 1000 songs people haven’t heard, she has Dollywood, she’s making movies.”
It sounds like the iconic duo of Parton and Perry will be singing each others’ praises for a long time.
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