Watch ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Stars Perform Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’
Dolly Parton’s classic “Jolene” gets a colorful, dancefloor-ready update in a new promotional video for the new film Dumplin’, which was released on December 7th. Parton appears only as a statue in the beginning of the clip, but a group of performers from RuPaul’s Drag Race make up for the country icon’s absence with some outrageous (and outrageously good) impersonations.
“Come to the Smoky Mountains, they said. It’ll be fun they said. Where’s all the bears?” says Ginger Minj in the opening scene, perhaps confusing the great outdoors with leather night as she stumbles upon Parton’s statue in East Tennessee. “I know what you’re gonna say, girl: Find out who you are and do it on purpose.”
Parton’s “Jolene” receives a slight tempo increase and is given a thumping four-on-the-floor beat in the clip, while Minj — who appears in Dumplin’ — and fellow queens Alaska, Katya Zamalodchikova, Bebe Zahara Benet, BenDeLaCreme and Manila Luzon show off some of their best Dolly looks and dance moves. They’re all juxtaposed with some traditionally “country” signifiers: a truck, an outhouse, a tire swing, a barn and, naturally, a mechanical bull that tosses them one by one.
Parton also recorded a new “Strings Only” version of “Jolene” for the Dumplin’ soundtrack, along with new collaborations on some of her classic songs with Miranda Lambert, Sia and Elle King. Dumplin’, starring Jennifer Aniston and Danielle Macdonald, is streaming now on Netflix.