The legends collaborated on Pride’s 2006 album Pride & Joy: A Gospel Music Collection.
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Dolly Parton and Charley Pride
Credit: Taylor Hill/Getty Images; Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

As the world remembers the loss of country music legend Charley Pride, who died in December 2020 from complications related to COVID-19 at the age of 86, we find ourselves revisiting some of our favorite songs from his pioneering career. And one, in particular, featuring the one-and-only Dolly Parton.

The Mississippi native, who drew inspiration from gospel and blues, returned to his spiritual roots with his album Pride & Joy: A Gospel Music Collection. The 2006 album opens with a duet version of "God's Coloring Book" from Parton's 1977 LP Here You Come Again.

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The country music icons had a lot in common. In addition to growing up poor in large families (Parton had 11 siblings and Pride ten), they also had similar philosophies regarding faith and spirituality.

"We relate to God in the same way," Parton said in the 2019 American Masters documentary Charley Pride: I'm Just Me. "We don't believe you have to cram it down somebody's throat."

Pride was reportedly nervous to approach Parton about a duet. According to Rolling Stone, it was his wife Rozene who reached out to Parton about a possible collaboration. The Queen of Country immediately said yes, but with one condition: That they sing "God's Coloring Book."

The resulting song is an inspirational ode to the colors of the natural world that feels especially poignant amidst the challenges of today.

Shortly after news of Pride's passing broke, Parton took to Twitter with a tribute to her longtime friend.

"I'm so heartbroken that one of my dearest and oldest friends, Charley Pride, has passed away. It's even worse to know that he passed away from COVID-19. What a horrible, horrible virus. Charley, we will always love you," she wrote. "Rest In Peace. My love and thoughts go out to his family and all of his fans."

Rest in peace, Charley.