Is Kelly Clarkson related to Dolly Parton? The Truth Behind Their Musical Bond

Kelly Clarkson and Dolly Parton are two of the most successful and influential singers in the music industry. They have both won multiple Grammy Awards, sold millions of albums, and inspired countless fans with their powerful voices and catchy songs. But are they related by blood or by marriage? The answer is no, they are not related in any way. However, they do share a special connection through music and friendship.

How Kelly Clarkson and Dolly Parton met

Kelly Clarkson and Dolly Parton first met in 2007, when they performed together at the CMT Giants: Reba McEntire tribute show. They sang a duet of Parton’s classic hit “9 to 5”, which Clarkson later said was one of her favorite moments of her career. According to CMT, Clarkson was nervous to meet Parton, but the country legend was very warm and welcoming to her. They hugged and chatted backstage, and Clarkson even got to touch Parton’s famous wig.

Since then, Clarkson and Parton have collaborated on several occasions, such as singing “Islands in the Stream” at the 2010 ACM Awards, and recording a version of “Jolene” for Parton’s 2016 album Pure & Simple. They have also expressed their mutual admiration and respect for each other in interviews and social media posts.

How Kelly Clarkson and Dolly Parton are connected through music

One of the most significant ways that Kelly Clarkson and Dolly Parton are connected is through the song “I Will Always Love You”. Parton wrote and recorded the song in 1973 as a farewell to her former mentor and partner Porter Wagoner. The song became a number one hit on the country charts, and Parton re-recorded it in 1982 for the soundtrack of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, making it a number one hit again.

In 1992, Whitney Houston covered the song for the soundtrack of The Bodyguard, turning it into a global phenomenon. The song became one of the best-selling singles of all time, and won two Grammy Awards for Houston. Houston’s version also influenced Clarkson, who grew up listening to her music. Clarkson said that Houston was one of her biggest inspirations as a singer, and that she learned how to sing by mimicking her voice.

In 2022, Clarkson paid tribute to both Parton and Houston by performing “I Will Always Love You” at the ACM Awards. She delivered a stunning rendition of the song, starting with soft notes and building up to the epic chorus. She received a standing ovation from the audience, and was greeted onstage by Parton, who praised her performance. Parton said that she was backstage trying not to cry, and that Houston would be proud of her.

How Kelly Clarkson and Dolly Parton are friends

Besides their musical connection, Kelly Clarkson and Dolly Parton are also friends who support each other personally and professionally. In 2013, when Clarkson married Brandon Blackstock, who is the son of Reba McEntire’s ex-husband Narvel Blackstock, Parton sent her a video message congratulating her on her wedding. She also joked that she was now her “fairy godmother”, since she was friends with both McEntire and Blackstock.

In 2020, when Clarkson filed for divorce from Blackstock after seven years of marriage, Parton reached out to her again with words of encouragement. She told Entertainment Tonight that she was sorry to hear about her split, but that she knew she would be fine. She also said that she loved Clarkson as a person and as an artist, and that she hoped they would work together again soon.

Clarkson has also shown her love for Parton on several occasions. She has invited her as a guest on her talk show The Kelly Clarkson Show multiple times, where they have chatted about their careers, their families, and their hobbies. She has also praised Parton for being a role model for women in the music industry, and for being generous with her philanthropy. In 2021, she thanked Parton for donating $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which helped fund the research for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.


Kelly Clarkson and Dolly Parton are not related by blood or by marriage, but they are connected by music and friendship. They have performed together several times, most notably singing “I Will Always Love You” at the ACM Awards. They have also supported each other through their personal and professional challenges, and expressed their admiration and respect for each other. They are two talented and inspiring women who share a musical bond that transcends genres and generations.

Doms Desk

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