Kesha and the Queen of Country music collaborated on the song “Old Flames (Can’t Hold A Candle To You)” off her 2012 album, “Warrior.” However, their bond goes beyond their experience working together.
Kesha Says Dolly Parton Is Her ‘Guiding Night’
In celebration of International Women’s Day, Kesha sat down with Rolling Stone as part of the Icons & Influences issue to “pay tribute to the women who have shaped their sound, provided an example, and inspired them to break down barriers.”
As expected, Kesha named Parton as her icon & influence, noting that she had always looked up to the country star since she was a kid.
She recalled a heartwarming story that involved Parton and her mom.
When I was a little kid, my mom came back from the chiropractor and told me, ‘Oh, I just saw Dolly.’ And I said, ‘What’s Dolly?’ And she was like, ‘Oh, the queen.’ And I asked, ‘What are you talking about? The Queen Dolly?’
To Kesha’s surprise, a few years after the encounter, her mother wrote a song, “Old Flames (Can’t Hold A Candle To You),” that Parton recorded.
As for when Kesha became conscious of the icon that is Parton, it was when she first watched the 1980 film, “9 to 5.” She explained that she soon realized that the “Coat of Many Colors” singer is a “multifaceted artist of every genre.”
Despite the previous connection between Kesha’s mom and Parton, the “Die Young” singer was unsure that she was talented enough to collaborate with someone as legendary as Parton.
I thought people thought I was fun, but I sure as hell didn’t think they thought I was talented. And I sure as hell didn’t think I was talented enough to ask the queen to sing a song with me.
However, Kesha defied her fears and approached the queen regardless, and to her surprise. “I wept like a baby when she said she would. I’m getting teary-eyed right now,” Kesha said.
Kesha confessed that collaborating with Parton changed the course of her career for the best. “I made a rule to not do any music — no matter how successful it could be, no matter how many people would love it — that Dolly Parton wouldn’t f–k with. I don’t ever want to put out any music that Dolly Parton wouldn’t enjoy or listen to, or find some humor in. She’s so much of a guiding light, and she has no idea.”
Kesha Wants To Get Married In Dollywood
Although Kesha hasn’t met Parton in person, she confessed she would be nervous about meeting her idol. The “Jem & the Holograms” star mentioned that she would love to walk down the aisle at Dollywood amusement park.
“I was just there a couple months ago. I’ve been there like 10 times. I’m obsessed with Dollywood. It’s just, like, the happiest place on earth. It’s in the middle of the Smoky Mountains,” she gushed.
In her concluding note, Kesha revealed that she initially thought Parton was “fabulous, hilarious, and obviously very, very talented” but realized she was much more than that.
Now I realize that it’s so much more than that. Her graciousness, her generosity, and the way that she will answer any question with so much respect — but she does not let people ever get one over on her.
The 35-year-old admitted that whenever she is about to make a major decision, she asks herself, “What would Dolly Parton do?” This question has guided her whenever she doesn’t know what to say in an interview.
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Kesha holds the mantra so dear to heart that she wants a tattoo across her wrist that reads, “What Would Dolly Do?” Earlier this month, the “Tik Tok” singer turned 35 to the delight of fans.
She was born on March 1, 1987, in Los Angeles, California, and signed to her first record label Kemosabe Records, at 18 years old. Her first break came in 2009 when she was featured on Flo Rida’s single “Right Round.
However, her breakthrough came with the release of her single, “Tik Tok,” which has sold over 14 million records internationally. Her other hit songs include “Your Love Is My Drug,” “Take It Off,” “Blow,” and “We R Who We Are.”