For King & Country caught up with Billboard on the red carpet at the 2020 Grammy Awards, chatting about how they ended up working with Dolly Parton on the remix of their song “God Only Knows” and why the experience was the highlight of their career.
The duo, who later in the evening took home the Grammy for best contemporary Christian music performance/song for their song “God Only Knows,” are asked how they ended up recruiting Dolly Parton to sing on the track.
Joel Smallbone replies that it happened in a very unique way, explaining that they were watching the Netflix film Dumplin’, which was soundtracked by Parton. The pair had discussed wanting to get a female vocal on the song, and the country music icon came to mind.
Smallbone reveals that he actually taught two of Parton’s managers in Sunday school, so he reached out to them and asked if they would play her the song and see what she thought of it. Coincidentally, she had also been wanting to get involved with inspirational music.
“It’s just been one of the highlights of our career,” he adds. “She’s everything you’d hoped she’d be and more. Just a light, gracious, professional…And to have the impact that the song has had through her voice reach around the world, it’s very special.”
Joel’s brother Luke notes that Parton was always very gracious, and that when his family came along to the music video shoot, she was very down to Earth and humble.
Following the duo’s big Grammy wins (best contemporary Christian music performance/song and best contemporary Christian music album for Burn the Ships), they took to Twitter to react to the feats.
“For these two awards, and particularly this one, as Burn The Ships was such a collaborative effort, we want to thank all of you,” they wrote. “To the academy, our peers, our wives, and most importantly to God, we are deeply grateful.”
For these two awards, and particularly this one, as Burn The Ships was such a collaborative effort, we want to thank all of you.. to the academy, our peers, our wives, and most importantly to God, we are deeply grateful. pic.twitter.com/ICpVTRFx9P
— for KING & COUNTRY (@4kingandcountry) January 28, 2020
You can watch the full video interview above.