Dolly Parton Debuts 'Emotional' Version of 'Mary, Did You Know?' from New Christmas Album: Listen

The country star's upcoming holiday album, A Holly Dolly Christmas, drops on Oct. 2

Dolly Parton's ushering in the Christmas season early!

On Friday, the country music legend, 74, debuted a taste of her upcoming holiday album, titled A Holly Dolly Christmas and set for an Oct. 2 release date. Parton said the classic "Mary, Did You Know?” made her emotional when performing it for the project.

"I got very emotional recording 'Mary, Did You Know?' It’s the sweetest song about beautiful things being born out of unexpected situations and that’s a message we all need to hear now more than ever," she wrote on Instagram earlier this week of the "heartfelt" rendition.

Parton told Billboard that she wanted the album name to be "cute and clever" and was inspired by the classic "A Holly Jolly Christmas" by Burl Ives.

"He used to be on all of my Christmas specials all through the years," Parton said of the iconic singer. "I think of him as Mr. Christmas. I thought, ‘Why don't do I call it something cute and clever, like that or Deck the Halls with Boughs of Dolly, something corny like that.'"

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Parton's last holiday album, Home for Christmas, was released in 1990.

For the album, Parton collaborated with several other musicians, including Michael Bublé for the single, "Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas." Jimmy Fallon will join Parton for a rendition of Mariah Carey's iconic holiday hit "All I Want for Christmas Is You" — a decision inspired by an appearance on the host's late-night show.

"I thought, 'What other songs are really hot?' And I thought, 'All I Want for Christmas Is You.' Jimmy Fallon, a couple of years ago, I was on his show around Christmas and he asked me to sing that and I didn't know it and I felt so bad," Parton recalled. "So I went and learned it and I was just going to put it on my album and then I went, 'I'll ask Jimmy Fallon to sing it with me!' And he said, yes. So I'm really excited about that."

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Because of the pandemic, Parton and her collaborators — which also includes Willie Nelson, Billy Ray Cyrus and Miley Cyrus (Parton's goddaughter) —recorded their parts separately.

"They had done some of the tracks before the pandemic, but then we went in and started doing our vocals," Parton said. "We've been very smart, very careful, because we're trying to protect ourselves and I'm an older person."

A Holly Dolly Christmas will be available wherever you stream music on Oct. 2. Listen to "Mary, Did You Know?" now.

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