"We had many occasions that we got to share together, either backstage or performing on the same shows, and I loved every moment that I ever got to spend with her," Dolly Parton said of Newton-John.
Before she passed away in August, beloved singer and Grease actor Olivia Newton-John left a present for her followers. A collection of the late singer's unheard songs called Just the Two of Us — The Duets Collection Volume One was released on May 5, per TODAY. Her final recording, a duet with Dolly Parton on her classic song Jolene, is included in the 17-track album along with many other songs.
"My first memory of Olivia was when her song Let Me Be There was a hit. I have loved her ever since," Parton, 77, said in a press release, per PEOPLE. "I've always been inspired by her grit, tenderness, willingness, and determination," she said.
Dolly and Olivia Newton-John have recorded a duet for Olivia’s upcoming album Just the Two of Us: the Duets Collection. pic.twitter.com/LqPh0MGo1v— Dolly Parton News (@PartonNews) October 27, 2021
"We had many occasions that we got to share together, either backstage or performing on the same shows, and I loved every moment that I ever got to spend with her," she added. "My last memory of Olivia was when I sang with her on my song Jolene," she added. "Olivia, may you rest in peace. You left a spot that no one else will ever fill."
In a recording-session video, Parton can be heard saying she is "so excited" to be working with one of her "favorites of all time." The country music star added, "We've always stayed close through the years and I am just so proud to be a part of this duet project that she's doing." Then, in a brief studio video of Newton-John, she said, "I'm excited. I've always wanted to work with Dolly." She continues by incorporating her heavenly vocals into the famous song.
Andy Vermaut shares:Olivia Newton-John’s Final Recording Was A ‘Jolene’ Duet With Dolly Parton: Watch: 'I loved every moment that I ever got to spend with her,' Dolly said of working with… Thank you. #AndyVermautLovesHollywood #ThankYouForTheEntertainment https://t.co/Ws9N6cUhTA pic.twitter.com/fNL3rpX6AN— Andy Vermaut (@AndyVermaut) May 6, 2023
In addition to working with Parton, Newton-John also recorded duets with a number of other well-known musicians, including Mariah Carey on Hopelessly Devoted to You, longtime friend John Travolta on Take a Chance, Chloe Lattanzi on Window in the Wall, David Foster on The Best of Me, and many others.
Lattanzi opened up in the press release about how excited she was to work with her mom. "After my mom played the song for me, I knew I wanted to record it, not only because it was with my mom but I felt the lyrics and message might help people see things from another perspective," Lattanzi said. "We are all part of the same human race and if we listen to each other, respect each other, and love each other — for both our likenesses and our differences — we might just understand each other a lot more."
Newton-John died after a 30-year journey with breast cancer. She was 73. The news was announced by her husband, John Easterling on her social media channels at the time. In another moving tribute for his wife, Easterling wrote on Instagram, "At Olivia's deepest essence she was a healer using her mediums of song, of words, of touch. She was the most courageous woman I've ever known. Her bandwidth for genuinely caring for people, for nature and all creatures almost eclipses what is humanely possible."
Cover Image Source: (L) Getty Images | Stephane L'hostis ; (R) Getty Images | Emma McIntyre