On Friday, the pair released a reimagined version of “9 to 5,” the title track of the 1980 comedy starring Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Clarkson’s vocals are front and center on the track, presented here as a downtempo pop ballad.
The song will be featured in “Still Working 9 to 5,” a new documentary that examines women’s rights in the American workforce in the 42 years since the release of the “9 to 5” movie.
“Nobody sings like Kelly Clarkson. She makes any song come alive,” Parton said in a press release. “I love her voice on ‘9 to 5,’ and I am so proud I got to sing with her on it. I’m equally as proud of the wonderful arrangement and production by Shane McAnally.”
Clarkson echoed those sentiments, telling People, “I hope y’all like what we did, but even if you don’t, remember I got to sing a duet with the magical Dolly Parton, and now have bragging rights til the end of time!”
Listen to Kelly Clarkson and Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5” below.
Clarkson has been an outspoken admirer of Parton for years. In fact, she first performed “9 to 5” as part of a “Kellyoke” segment for the inaugural episode of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” in 2019. This March, she paid tribute to Parton with a tender performance of “I Will Always Love You” at the 2022 Academy of Country Music Awards.
The release of “9 to 5” follows Clarkson celebrating the 20th anniversary of her “American Idol” victory a few days ago.
In a Variety interview published Wednesday, the three-time Grammy winner confirmed plans to release a new album next year. Returning to the studio after her divorce from Brandon Blackstock was a “really healing” experience, she explained.
“I’m working on this in therapy: I have a hard time vocalizing what I’m feeling sometimes, so music is helpful for me,” Clarkson told the magazine. The new songs, she said, reflect “the arc of a relationship, because the beginning is so beautiful and so sweet, and then it evolves. And sometimes it doesn’t evolve how you want.”