Dolly Parton’s Seventies country classic, “Jolene,” has received many a rendition in English, including takes by goddaughter Miley Cyrus, the White Stripes, Pentatonix, and even a queer interpretation by Nadine Gibbs. But nearly 50 years since its release, the legendary song finally gets its first Spanish-language makeover by two Mexican American divas: regional Mexican songstress Chiquis Rivera and reggaeton-pop hitmaker Becky G.
In la nueva “Jolene,” the L.A.-born superstars play two tough-as-nails outlaws — with a soft spot for the same desperado. Produced by Ulises Lozano (of electro-rock band Kinky), and rewritten in Spanish by veteran songwriter Luciano Luna, the Latina update ditches Parton’s delicate folk styling and emerges anew with a brassy, cumbia swing. “If there are so many men in the world/Why do you want mine?” sings Chiquis and Becky in Spanish. In the animated video, modeled after pulp fiction comics of yore, the two broads get revenge on their two-timing lover by tying him to a cactus. Under direction by Julio Abad, the two filmed their parts separately in quarantine, using the green screen technique at home.
Chiquis hails from regional Mexican music’s Rivera dynasty, of which her mother, the late banda singer Jenni Rivera, reigned as queen. The revamped “Jolene” is a cut off from Chiquis’ new cumbia-pop album, Playlist, which was released in May.
Find a playlist of all of our recent Songs You Need to Know selections on Spotify.