Who else could reunite the surviving members of The Beatles than the one and only Dolly Parton? For her rock and roll album, Rockstar, she did exactly that. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, along with musicians Peter Frampton and Mick Fleetwood, all joined her for a recording of “Let It Be.”
While she puts her own spin on the hit song, it remains a beautiful homage to the legendary band.
‘Let It Be’
Paul McCartney penned “Let It Be” in the late 1960s. The song came to him in his sleep, in a dream about his late mother, Mary. He was going through a particularly stressful time, and she reassured him by saying, “It will be alright. Just let it be.” The song and the album of the same name were both released in 1970, with the latter serving as The Beatles‘ twelfth and final studio album.
The song would go on to reach No. 1 in the United States and No. 2 in the United Kingdom, and has become one of the most recognizable tracks in the entire Beatles discography. Over the decades, it has been covered by a plethora of legendary artists, including the likes of Bill Withers, John Denver and Aretha Franklin.
Parton’s guest appearances
“Let It Be” is experiencing another revival, this time thanks to iconic country music star, Dolly Parton. However, she wasn’t alone in recording the track, as she managed to reunite the last two surviving members of the Beatles – Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr – to help her reimagine it. They were joined by Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac on drums and Peter Frampton on guitar.
The song has been positively received by critics, with one writing how “the earnest, serene warmth of Parton’s voice makes it work, as she enlivens one of the most familiar songs in rock history with her own particular glow.”
“Let It Be” is included on Parton’s 49th studio album, Rockstar, which features 30 tracks with more than 30 guest appearances. Among them are the likes of Sting, Debbie Harry from Blondie, Elton John and Lynyrd Skynyrd. While there are some original songs on the album, Parton mostly covers rock classics, like Queen‘s “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions,” which have been combined into one track.
Inspiration for Dolly Parton’s rock album
While Dolly Parton has cemented herself as one of the greatest country music artists of all time, her pivot to rock and roll isn’t surprising. In 2022, she was nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, a gesture she “respectfully” tried to bow out of, as she felt she wasn’t worthy of such an honor. However, her nomination remained, and she was inducted later that year.
Hoping to live up to the honor, Parton was inspired to try her hand at a rock album. She’d previously posted to Twitter, “This has […] inspired me to put out a hopefully great rock ‘n’ roll album at some point in the future, which I have always wanted to do! My husband is a total rock ‘n’ roll freak, and has always encouraged me to do one.”
Parton has finally completed the project – and she nailed it!