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Dolly Parton Seemingly Claps Back at Beyonce’s Critics

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Dolly Parton is seemingly not here for any criticism of her friend Beyoncé’s debut country album, Cowboy Carter.

Parton, 78, hinted that she has no time for haters in a Monday, April 1, Instagram post that highlighted a clip from her 1982 movie, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.

“Are you listening good? / Keep them leeches and bloodsuckers off the back roads,” Parton sings as Mona in the video, which highlights the song “A Lil’ Ole Bitty Pissant Country Place” from early in the film. “And I know how to use a gun / And nobody messes with my girls / And any questions you might have about the way I run this place / Don’t gripe and whine behind my back / Just tell me face to face, I’m open-minded, say it all / Then go upstairs and pack, the door’s that way.”

In her caption, Parton reiterated the song’s message, writing, “The door is that way 👉.”

Fans immediately interpreted the upload as a veiled defense of Beyoncé, 42, who’s already facing criticism for Cowboy Carter, which dropped on Friday, March 29, and features a cover of “Jolene” as well as two spoken-word intros by Parton.

“Dolly P with the clapback 😂 AND WE LIVE FOR IT!” one fan wrote in the comments section of Parton’s post. Another social media user added, “She talking to some of y’all. Read the room!!!” while another wrote, “Dolly said do we have a problem?”

While Cowboy Carter has received plenty of praise from fans and critics, other observers have tried to say Beyoncé has no place dabbling in country music after years of working in pop and R&B. John Schneider, who last year came under fire for saying President Joe Biden should be “publicly hung” in a since-deleted X post, compared Beyoncé’s country foray to a dog marking its territory.

“They’ve got to make their mark, just like a dog in a dog walk park,” Schneider, 63, said during a February interview with One America News Network after Beyoncé released the album’s first two singles. “You know, every dog has to mark every tree, right? So that’s what’s going on here.”

While Schneider may not appreciate Beyoncé’s new country sound, Parton does — and has defended the Grammy winner’s right to make whatever music she chooses. “I’m a big fan of Beyoncé and very excited that she’s done a country album,” Parton wrote via Instagram in February after “Texas Hold ’Em” topped the chart. “So congratulations on your Billboard Hot Country number one single. Can’t wait to hear the full album!”

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After Beyoncé dropped the whole album, including her “Jolene” cover, Parton shared her appreciation for the new take on the song. “Wow, I just heard ‘Jolene,’” Parton wrote via Instagram on Friday. “Beyoncé is giving that girl some trouble and she deserves it! Love, Dolly P.”

Back in 2022, Parton told Trevor Noah that she’d long wanted Beyoncé to cover “Jolene,” which Parton originally recorded in 1973. “I don’t know if she’s even got the message, but wouldn’t that be killer?” Parton said during an interview on The Daily Show. “I would just love to hear ‘Jolene’ done in just a big way, kind of like how Whitney [Houston] did my ‘I Will Always Love You.’ Just someone that can take my little songs and make them powerhouses.”

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