"The voice of an angel, sang for an angel," said Rory of duetting with Parton.

By Perri Ormont Blumberg
April 26, 2021

On June 18, country singer Rory Feek will release his first solo album and his first album since his wife Joey passed away from cancer in 2016, Gentle Man. While we can't wait to listen to it in full, there's one song we're already playing on repeat: "One Angel," featuring the vocals of the one-and-only Dolly Parton.

The incredibly personal song chronicles Joey's experience with cancer and chemotherapy, while grappling with religious themes. "So here's three fingers of tequila / One finger for the cancer / One finger for the poison they sent pouring through your veins," Rory sings. "One finger for the preacher / 'Cause I don't believe the Jesus / That you love so much would put you through such pain. / But I do believe one angel knows my name."

And now—much to Rory's surprise—another angel is singing along with him. "Well... the unimaginable has happened. There's really no other way to say it. It's the same song that I shared in a blog post a couple of weeks ago and pretty much the same music video... Yet, I'm not the only one singing it now. Someone else is singing with me...Dolly," Rory began a recent blog post on his site sharing the news. "To know what a big deal that is, you have to know Dolly's tie into my wife Joey... She was her hero. Joey grew up idolizing Dolly. Her very first performance at Cunningham Elementary School back home in Indiana was Coat Of Many Colors. She wanted to be Dolly... To be LIKE Dolly. And so after high school, Joey packed her things in a horse-trailer and moved to Nashville to make her mark in country music the way Dolly did."

Joey and Rory Feek 45th Annual Academy of Country Music Awards - Show
Credit: Ethan Miller/ACMA2010/Getty Images for ACMA

The post goes on to chronicle how before Joey's passing Dolly sent her a special video expressing her love for Joey's music and offering her words of encouragement. Though the two singers unfortunately never had a chance to meet, Dolly's gesture really struck a chord for the whole Feek family.

Now, some five years later and Parton relished the opportunity to lend her vocals to this track on Rory's upcoming album. In fact, she even went a step further than only singing harmony and sang an entire verse. The result? Nothing short of amazing. Watch the music video below.

"The voice of an angel, sang for an angel," Rory sums up the experience. We wholeheartedly agree.