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Dolly Parton and Kelly Clarkson’s slow ‘9 to 5’ duet packs an inspirational punch

The country music legend and the Grammy winner have teamed up for a more somber version of Parton's 1980 classic.

Dolly Parton and Kelly Clarkson are workin' "9 to 5" together.

The country music star and the three-time Grammy winner released their awaited duet of Parton's 1980 hit song on Sept. 9 ahead of the Sept. 16 premiere of the documentary, “Still Working 9 to 5.” 

The new song is a more slowed-down, breathier version of Parton's Grammy-winning tune that served as the theme song of the 1980 hit movie also called "9 to 5," starring Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.

"Nobody sings like Kelly Clarkson. She makes any song come alive. I love her voice on 9 to 5 and I am so proud I got to sing with her on it," Parton said in a news release.

Clarkson said she was "honored" to work with Parton.

"She is so talented, an inspiration to all women, and one of the sweetest people you will ever meet! I hope y’all like what we did, but 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!” Clarkson said in a news release.

The song examines themes of inequality and frustration that women face in a male-dominated workforce. Camille Hardman, the co-director and producer of the documentary, told Variety that Clarkson and Parton's more melancholy version of the song goes with the somber theme that many of the same issues Parton sang about in 1980 are still problems today.

The documentary revisits the hit movie and documents its impact on the women's movement. It features interviews with Parton, Fonda, Tomlin and Dabney Coleman, the latter of whom played their sexist boss in the original film. Stars of the stage and television versions of the movie, including Rita Moreno and Allison Janney, also discuss its resonance.

Clarkson is a die-hard Parton fan, as she began the first episode of "The Kelly Clarkson Show" in 2019 with a video tribute to "9 to 5" and also covered Parton's 1982 song "Hard Candy Christmas" on her talk show in December 2020.

Clarkson also paid tribute to Parton at the Academy of Country Music Awards in March, performing her hit "I Will Always Love You."