Lily Allen, Beyoncé, Act ll, Cowboy Carter, Dolly Parton, Jolene

Beyoncé Questioned About ‘Calculated’ Cover Of Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’

Beyoncé is facing growing criticism for her country music debut and cover of Dolly Parton's 1973 classic "Jolene."

Beyoncé is facing growing criticism for her country music debut and cover of Dolly Parton’s 1973 classic “Jolene.”

It’s been one week since Beyoncé released Act II of her musical renaissance “Cowboy Carter.” The 27-track album introduces fans to a country-inspired sound that sees the decorated Grammy winner tackle an all-time country classic in Parton’s “Jolene.” When discussing Beyoncé’s musical transition to country, British singer Lily Allen accused the “Texas Hold ‘Em” singer of making a “calculated” move to the music genre.

“It’s quite an interesting thing to do when you’re trying to tackle a new genre and you just choose the biggest song in that genre [to cover],” Allen said on her “Miss Me?” podcast in reference to Beyoncé’s “Jolene cover. “I mean you do you, Beyoncé.”

Citing Jay-Z’s 2024 Grammys speech where he called out the Recording Academy to defend his wife having not won Album of the Year, Allen believes it was part of some orchestrated plan to help propel Beyoncé’s success in the country music space.

“I think it’s been quite calculated. I feel like when Jay-Z got up at the Grammys … that was part of this campaign,” she added. “And now she is the most played woman on country radio and she’s coming for that market.”

Beyoncé is expected to set a new mark for the best first-week performance of 2024, Billboard reports. Since its March 29 release, “Cowboy Carter” has earned a score of 92 on the review-aggregating website Metacritic. It’s also drumming up Grammy buzz for the singer’s first potential Album of the Year win. Considering the high-volume combination of physical sales and digital streams of the album, it should result in a massive first week for “Cowboy Carter.”

Allen’s criticisms of the record seemingly highlight Beyoncé’s reasoning for recording the country album after revealing a time when she was made to not feel welcomed into the genre.

“This album has been over five years in the making,” she wrote on Instagram last month. “It was born out of an experience that I had years ago where I did not feel welcomed…and it was very clear that I wasn’t.”

Elsewhere, Allen and her co-host Miquita Oliver discussed Beyoncé’s youthful appearance with Allen doubting the “Cuff It” singer would look as good as she does without a beauty squad.

“She does look great; she makes me quite excited about [my] 40s,” Oliver said, to which Allen chimed in, “Yeah, but she’s getting some help.”

“She has not had any work done if that’s what you’re implying,” Oliver said in Beyoncé’s defense.

“I didn’t say that, [but] she’s got a great team of stylists, great hair people, she works out, [she’s] got access to the best personal trainers in the world … she’s Beyoncé,” Allen clarified.

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