One of the most iconic moments at the 2022 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was when country singer Dolly Parton took to the stage and performed her song “Jolene” alongside numerous other artists – one of those individuals being Judas Priest singer Rob Halford.
The Metal God is a hardcore Dolly Parton fan. For him, having the opportunity to sing alongside her was a remarkable experience that he is beyond thankful for. During a recent conversation with Mark Strigl of SiriusXM’s Ozzy’s Boneyard, Halford was asked what it was like to perform with Parton. The Judas Priest frontman started off by talking about how much he was “gushing” over her and fanboying out. Per Halford (as transcribed by Blabbermouth):
“I did the gay hustle and [thought], ‘I’ve gotta get close to Dolly.’ [Laughs] I may have overstepped my mark, but I was just gushing; I was a fanboy. I was kind of cringey at the end.”
Halford goes on to say: “I still haven’t seen it — I still haven’t seen it — but people say it was great, and that’s all that matters.”
By “haven’t seen it,” Halford is possibly referring to the footage of his performance of “Jolene” with Parton. If that’s the case, it’s interesting to hear that he hasn’t seen that footage yet (he ought to though because that performance was fantastic). Halford then goes on to talk about how much he admires the country singer:
“To be so close to her and to feel the love that this lady has — she’s just this walking beacon of love and happiness and joy that she spreads. And the talent that she has; when you think about the thousands and thousands of songs that she’s written. And her story… There’s a great Netflix documentary called ‘Here I Am’, and I watched that the other night. And where she came from and how she persevered, and she went through a moment where she really didn’t know if things were gonna be able to continue, just through the way that rock and roll works, and she did.
“She’s the epitome of staying the course and believing in yourself and believing the people around you and getting through these difficulties and challenges and rising above them and becoming a success all over again. She was always a success, but in the way that she can kind of fade in and out of things in rock and roll. She stuck to it. And wow. She’s roaring right now. She’s got this new rock album coming out, which we’re all thrilled to know about.”
Halford continues: “So, yeah, for me to have that opportunity just to sing a couple of those famous lines from ‘Jolene’… It was a lot of stuff, you know. When you think about her and you think about me and where we are in our lives and the generations that we’re from and the people that we kind of represent, if that’s the right way to use it. It was just really very, very special. So, that moment, and all the other things that were flying around the room made for probably what they’re saying is one of the most memorable and remarkable Rock And Roll Hall Of Fames that have happened thus far.”
Those are some really kind words from Halford – Parton is an absolutely amazing talent and it’s awesome that two music legends got to share the stage together for such a joyous collaboration.
If you have yet to see Halford perform “Jolene” with Dolly Parton, you can find a video of that performance below. Maybe there’s a chance the two will collab together someday (that would be incredible).