(Image via YouTube / Dolly Parton)

Dolly Parton Covers Tom Petty's 'Southern Accents' for Upcoming Tribute Album

Dolly Parton recently dropped her version of Tom Petty's "Southern Accents" for an upcoming tribute album for the legendary rocker. The track, set to appear on Petty Country: A Country Music Celebration of Tom Petty, includes a prologue voiced by the late Tom Petty himself. In it, he recounts the moment of inspiration behind the tune.

Dolly Parton gives the song a heartfelt twist, keeping the tempo of Petty's original. She preserves most of the song, adding a significant change in the latter third with the powerful lyrics, "Yes I'm proud to be what I am/ A southern girl from a southern town/ I ain't ashamed, I ain't ashamed, I ain't ashamed."

"I was fortunate enough to get to know Tom over the years," Dolly wrote on her website. "He's such an iconic artist and important songwriter. I'm so honored to be a part of this special album and to be able to share my version of one of Tom's best songs, 'Southern Accents'."

The music video, directed by Trey Fanjoy, accompanies the song. In it, Parton performs in a room adorned with Petty's former instruments, lyric notebooks, and stage outfits, as home videos of Petty from various stages of his life provide a poignant backdrop.

Dolly Parton's Tom Petty Cover Follows Dierks Bentley's Take on 'American Girl'

"Southern Accents" comes on the heels of Dierks Bentley's rendition of "American Girl," marking the initial release from Petty Country This compilation album showcases unique takes on Tom Petty's classics by renowned artists such as Lady A, Chris Stapleton, Carly Pearce, Willie and Lukas Nelson, Luke Combs, and Brothers Osborne. Slated for release on July 21st through Big Machine, the album promises to pay homage to Petty's legendary sound.

Petty might seem like an unlikely subject for a country album. However, Tom Petty was a Southerner from Gainesville, Florida. He left a lasting mark on Contemporary Country music with his rock grit and California anthems. Relocating from Florida to Los Angeles, he kept his Southern essence alive in his music. Petty's work, known for its catchy melodies and raw vocals along with lyrics depicting Southern life, still shapes the Country music scene today.

Meanwhile, after releasing the album Rockstar and its deluxe version, Dolly Parton has been selective with her projects. She will feature on Glen Campbell's duet album Ghost on the Canvas on April 19th. Of course, she also received a full writing credit for Beyoncé's cover of "Jolene" in Cowboy Carter.