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Dolly Parton and Kelly Clarkson bring this generation a new ‘9 to 5’

The duo stunningly reimagines an old classic

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Dolly Parton and Kelly Clarkson hug on stage at the CMA awards.

Dolly Parton, left, and Kelly Clarkson embrace onstage at the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards on Monday, March 7, 2022, at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

John Locher, Associated Press

Dolly Parton and Kelly Clarkson put a new twist on Parton’s feminist country anthem, “9 to 5”. 

The duo’s rendition of the classic country song was recorded for the upcoming documentary “Still Working 9 to 5,” which gets its name from the 1980 comedy “9 to 5” that Parton also starred in.

According to the blog Film School Rejects, “The original movie was a Trojan horse using comedy to highlight the issues working women needed addressed; the documentary about the movie is dedicated to highlighting how far we have left to go to address them.”

How does the new ‘9 to 5’ differ from the original?

While the original song is an upbeat anthem that points towards the hope of dreams coming true, albeit including lyrics about the drawbacks of not being valued in the workplace, the reimagined version reflects less of that attitude.

The slower “9 to 5” takes the hope one might have felt about making their dreams come true in the 1980s and sets it on fire. This was their intent, however, as this marked shift in tone reflects the changing attitudes about work in the four decades since the song was released.

In an interview with Variety, the documentary’s co-director and producer Camille Hardman labeled the new version as “melancholy” and says that it was intended to echo the idea that the concepts in the original film remain as workplace issues today.

In a statement to Rolling Stone, Parton said, “I believed then, and I believe now, that every person deserves to be paid fairly for their work … no matter what they are.”

She sought Clarkson out as a duet partner for her voice and ability to sing life into any song. In this song Clarkson takes the lead and Parton performs the backup vocals, an honor the talk show host says.

Clarkson was especially excited to work with Parton, saying in a press release, “She is so talented, an inspiration to all women, and one of the sweetest people you will ever meet!” 

Of course, Clarkson wants listeners to love the song, but says, “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!”

Where can you stream ‘9 to 5’?

The reimagined “9 to 5” is available to stream on Spotify, Apple Music, Youtube Music, Pandora, iHeart and Deezer. The documentary will be released in limited theaters on Sept. 16.