Dolly Parton Drops Cover of 4 Non Blondes Song ‘What’s Up?’ With Guitar by Linda Perry (Video)

The track is one of several covers on her forthcoming post-Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction album “Rockstar”

Dolly Parton has a new album coming out on Nov. 17 that will be a little different than her previous releases. “Rockstar” includes both original songs and covers of rock classics, including “What’s Up?” by 4 Non Blondes. Parton explained in a statement that there are two big reasons why she wanted to cover the song: “First of all, I love Linda Perry. Second of all, I love this song written by Linda.”

Parton also saw the video for the song as an opportunity to share a bigger message with the world. She continued, “I love being a part of this video to try to make people think about what’s going on in this world today. Shout out to the little children that helped with the video! If our children don’t make it, then what will? Again, I ask, ‘What’s Up?’ Enjoy.”

The music video that accompanies the song is pretty special. Filmed at Eakin Elementary in Nashville, Tennesee, Parton is joined by Linda Perry herself, who plays guitar while Parton sings the melody onstage. As the two dive deeper into the song, children begin to file into the theater as their audience.

Original 4 Non Blondes lead singer Perry was just as happy to have Parton cover her song as the country legend was to do it. In her own statement, Perry explained, “Her version of ‘What’s Up?’ is so good. Her spin on it made me feel like it was her song. No surprise there.”

The idea for “Rockstar” seems to date back to Parton being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. While she initially declined the nomination, she ultimately accepted and went on to create “Rockstar” with a who’s-who of rock music as she sought to mix a little extra rock into her country sound.

Parton has been drumming up interest in “Rockstar” since May 2023, when she performed her single “World on Fire” at the Academy of Country Music Awards. “Rockstar” will also include covers of “Let It Be” with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” by Queen and Heart’s “Magic Man.”