Kelly Clarkson continues to honor fans’ cover songs requests during each stop on her current tour, putting her own spin on tunes by everyone from Taylor Swift to Joe Cocker to Elvis Presley. Clarkson fan Robert Nunez wanted Dolly Parton added to that mix, and he was right up front at the singer’s recent show in Albuquerque, New Mexico, when she addressed him personally and then went on to deliver a spine-tingling version of the 1973 smash, “Jolene.”
Backed only by keyboard accompaniment, Clarkson kept her eyes closed throughout the performance, slowing down the song’s tempo to dramatic effect. The heart-stopping rendition of one of Parton’s signature songs comes just days before the pop phenom’s trek hits Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena on September 5th, when a country-music cover will almost certainly be on her set list.
Earlier this year, Clarkson released her Piece by Piece LP, and revealed that she’s also working on a country album. The Nashville resident, whose husband, Brandon Blackstock, manages Blake Shelton, says she feels at home in Music City.
“Everybody in Nashville has been super welcoming, but I don’t think that was a real shocker for everyone,” she tells Rolling Stone. “I’m from Texas – that’s the land of country music. I’ve lived in Nashville for eight years now, and honestly it’s not just a country world here. We have everybody from Kings of Leon to Meghan Trainor to Jack White to Sheryl Crow. It’s kind of like a new Austin: It’s just a plethora of music, and there’s a plethora of genres here.”
Clarkson’s tour continues in her home state Tuesday with a show in Houston, and then hits Little Rock, Arkansas, before landing in Nashville. She has dates scheduled throughout the U.S. and Canada until mid-October and then tours the U.K. in November.