Lainey Wilson Looks to Dolly Parton's Example in 'WWDD' Video

It is now commonplace to hear references to Merle Haggard or George Jones in contemporary country songs, but there are still surprisingly few references to country-music legend and America’s Most-Liked Person Dolly Parton despite her massive influence. Singer-songwriter Lainey Wilson is out to correct that, offering up “WWDD” (short for “What Would Dolly Do”) as a mantra for better living, no matter who you are.

Written by Louisiana native Wilson with Casey Beathard and Michael Heeney, “WWDD” mixes a stomping beat with grimy electric guitars out of Sticky Fingers-era Rolling Stones and the arena-sized choruses of Eighties Springsteen. She recalls hearing Parton on the radio for the first time and being transfixed: “Like a country-music modern-day apostle/Yeah, I leaned in like every word was gospel,” she sings of the woman she thinks of as her “go-to compass” and “golden rule.” In the video, she sprays and teases her hair like her idol might, dancing around her room in a bold, animal-print robe.

“If we all did it a little more like Dolly, we’d be lookin’ at a world with a little less rain and a lot more rainbows,” Wilson says. “She’s an icon around the world for a reason — from her music, to the way she gives, to her business sense, to the way she looks, to her light-hearted witty sense of humor — no one does it quite like Dolly does.”

“WWDD” follows Wilson’s 2019 Redneck Hollywood EP, which was released by BBR Music Group and included the tracks “Dirty Looks” and “LA.”

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