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Dolly Parton was 'tickling and cleaning' Rob Halford's beard in studio

Dolly Parton and Rob Halford duetted on Jolene at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction credit:Bang Showbiz
Dolly Parton and Rob Halford duetted on Jolene at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction credit:Bang Showbiz

Dolly Parton started "tickling and cleaning" Rob Halford's beard when they were rehearsing.

The Judas Priest frontman, 72, found it "so surreal" meeting the 78-year-old music legend for the first time and her stroking his facial hair.

The pair joined forces with 'Heartbreaker' hitmaker Pat Benatar, Eurythmics Annie Lennox and Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon to perform Dolly's iconic hit 'Jolene' at the 2022 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony. Rob was then invited to record 'Bygones' for the country music icon's rock album 'Rockstar', which also featured Mötley Crüe's Nikki Sixx and John 5.

He told Metal Hammer magazine of the first meeting: "She goes, 'I love your beard!', and she starts to clean my beard! It was so surreal! I'm meeting this living legend and she's tickling my beard and going, 'So you're going to sing some Jolene with me?' I was just floating."

The 'Breaking The Law' rocker says it was a career highlight working with the '9 to 5' hitmaker.

He said: "We're on the phone to each other and she's going [puts on a credible Southern US accent], 'Send me the files! Send me the files!' So I sent her the files and she calls back and goes, 'I love these! This is gonna be great!' This is Dolly Parton on speakerphone!

Ha ha! She's just this beautiful beacon of life.

You can tell by the way I'm speaking that this is important to me as a musician, to have had this literally once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with someone so great."