Dolly Parton's 'Jolene' Meme Scores Her Social 50 Chart Debut

Dolly Parton
Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Dolly Parton performs on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Aug. 23, 2016.

The singer posted the Distracted Boyfriend meme to her Twitter with a twist based on one of her biggest songs.

Dolly Parton’s on Billboard’s Social 50 chart for the first time -- and it’s mostly thanks to a meme.

The 72-year-old country legend debuts at No. 31 on the ranking dated Sept. 1, after multiple years of light-hearted posts and photos posted to her Twitter account, which has over 4 million followers.

The Social 50 is powered by data tracked by music analytics company Next Big Sound and ranks the most popular artists on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Wikipedia and Tumblr. The chart's methodology blends weekly additions of friends/fans/followers along with artist page views and engagement. The chart’s latest tracking week ended Aug. 23.

Parton’s debut comes mainly due to a whopping 123,000 reactions on Twitter in the Aug. 17-23 tracking week, according to Next Big Sound. Most of that sum is from Parton’s Aug. 20 tweet, which provided her own entry for the Distracted Boyfriend meme.

Some background: the Distracted Boyfriend meme, whose base is a stock image of a man turning around and watching a passing woman while his girlfriend looks on in disgust, originally gained steam in early 2017, when users added tags/labels to each person in the photo (the boyfriend is usually “me”).

Parton’s version? The woman walking away is “Jolene,” the boyfriend is “my man” and the disgruntled girlfriend is labeled “me,” referencing Parton’s No. 1 Hot Country Songs hit from 1974, “Jolene.” In the track, Parton sings of how she cannot compete with "Jolene," who has beauty "beyond compare," and begs her not to take her man.

The tweet eventually went viral and had over half a million global favorites as of press time (Aug. 29).

That wasn’t all that helped Parton on latest Social 50; she also scored boosts in engagement with a tweet honoring the late Aretha Franklin, tweeting, “I'm one of the lucky ones to have seen Aretha perform in the very beginning of her career.  She was amazing then and just became greater through the years.” Additionally, Parton wished her “Islands in the Stream” duet partner Kenny Rogers a happy birthday on Aug. 21; Rogers turned 80.


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