Lainey Wilson joins Dolly Parton on “Mama He’s Crazy,” from A Tribute to the Judds, out now. The collaboration on the record was a dream come true for Wilson, who got to honor the music and legacy of The Judds, while performing with one of her biggest musical heroes.
“They asked me if I wanted to be a part of a tribute for The Judds. And I mean, for me, that was just a no-brainer,” Wilson shared with Everything Nash and other outlets, during a recent media event. “They were the soundtrack to my childhood, the Judds. I’ve gotten to know Wynonna, and she’s even better than I had imagined. She is a spitfire, just like I thought she would be. But when they told me that I’d be doing ‘Mama He’s Crazy,’ I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is perfect.'”
Wilson and Parton didn’t get to record their duet in the studio together, due to their busy schedules, but it was Parton who let Wilson have the freedom to do whatever she wanted with her take on their iconic hit. Still, it wasn’t until the ACM Awards, which Parton hosted with Garth Brooks, that the two were finally able to connect, when Wilson won the Female Artist of the Year trophy.
“She had told them, ‘Just let Lainey go in there and put her vocal down, and then I’ll go back in there and put things on the top of it. So, at the ACMs this year, when she announced a Female Artist of the Year, that was the very first time that we had actually met, but we had already recorded the song. When I was up there, as we were walking off the stage, she grabbed my arm. She said, Laney, I love our song. We did together.’ That right there was one of the most memorable moments I will ever have.”
After dreaming for years and years of being part of country music, for Wilson to hear her and Parton’s voices together, on a record honoring The Judds, was almost more than Wilson could handle. Almost.
“I have a video of it somewhere. Somebody captured it,” Wilson says, recalling her reaction the first time she heard their take on “Mama He’s Crazy.” “I was on tour with Luke Combs somewhere up north, playing a stadium show, and I boohooed, I cried. I think everybody feels this way about Dolly, but I do feel like I just know her from a different lifetime, and it’s just such an honor to hear our voices right next to each other, because she’s such a huge inspiration to me, on and off the stage.”
Is this what happens when you stumble to the kitchen and pour yourself a big ole cup of ambition?!… “Mama He’s Crazy” with @DollyParton is out now on the @juddsofficial Tribute album! https://t.co/6MSjFoOEbo pic.twitter.com/sPv4TdhUyt
— Lainey Wilson (@laineywilson) October 28, 2023
It was Parton who first hinted at a collaboration with Wilson, while speaking to ET Canada earlier this year.
“With Lainey Wilson, one of the new ones … we’ve got a song we did for The Judds,” Parton revealed. “They’re doing an album for The Judds for mental illness and some of the problems that [Naomi Judd] had. So they’re doing a whole album of the songs, and I got to do ‘Mama He’s Crazy’ with Lainey, and I don’t even know her. So, I’m going to get a chance to visit.”
The National Alliance of Mental Illness Tennessee has partnered with A Tribute To The Judds for its release. The record also includes Blake Shelton, Gwen Stefani, Jelly Roll, Reba McEntire, Trisha Yearwood, Ashley McBryde, Gabby Barrett, Jamey Johnson, Carly Pearce, Cody Johnson, and more. The album is available for purcahse here.