Bebe Rexha surprises fans with a Dolly Parton duet on 'Bebe'

‘I started my career as a songwriter and would look up to Dolly’
Bebe Rexha, Dolly Parton
Photo credit Roy Rochlin/Getty Images (Bebe Rexha), Todd Owyoung/Getty Images (Dolly Parton)

Along with the release of Bebe Rexha’s third studio album comes a very special track — one she recorded with her lifelong inspiration, Dolly Parton.

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Parton’s vocals can be heard on the last track of the project, “Seasons,” which explores aging and trying to make sense of it all. A song Bebe says came together naturally.

“I was in the studio, and we recorded the guitar and my vocals at the same time and didn’t edit much — just sang through a straight take,” she told Variety. “Then Dolly added her vocals and the result was just perfect.”

A surprise to many, this was Bebe’s second attempt at getting Parton on one of her songs. She had previously requested Parton’s talents on another song which she says Dolly “declined nicely.”

“She wrote me a thoughtful, handwritten note once just to say she was grateful for the request but the song I had submitted was about heaven and hell, and well, she didn’t have any interest in singing about hell that way,” Rexha shared. “I understood completely, and the gesture was so thoughtful. I knew one day there would be a perfect song for us to share and ‘Seasons’ was it.”

The collaboration fulfills a childhood dream for Bebe, who grew up with the sounds of Parton’s music filling her grandmothers home, fostering her love for not only singing, but songwriting as well.

“I just [have] such strong admiration for her, not just as an artist, but as a songwriter,” Bebe said. “I started my career as a songwriter and would look up to Dolly because she’s able to write songs for other people, while also having success for herself.”

Dolly’s appearance is only fitting for an album Bebe says is centered around empowerment and honesty.

“It’s about feeling empowered even while feeling uncertain — of change, growing up, self-reflecting,” Rexha said of the inspiration behind the album. “I’ve always been open in my lyrics — and with life in general — when it comes to talking about what I’ve been through…this album is about expression and tells a story about having a change of heart.”

Bebe’s self-titled, third studio album is available now.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Roy Rochlin/Getty Images (Bebe Rexha), Todd Owyoung/Getty Images (Dolly Parton)