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Dolly Parton’s cover of “Shine” is a bluegrass masterpiece

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We love that she kept the iconic "yeah" during the breakdowns.

There are few artists of the 20th century as decorated or prolific as Dolly Parton. She has written over 3,000 songs, 26 of which charted at #1, and has won 11 Grammy Awards. The seventh Grammy she won was Best Female Country Vocal Performance for this cover of the 90s hit “Shine,” part of her 2001 album, Little Sparrow.

Parton sped up the tune a bit and replaced the grunge with her signature country twang. She was joined by the band Nickel Creek, who put on a bluegrass clinic during each breakdown. They make the tune their own through fierce musicality, while maintaining the prayerful themes of Collective Soul’s original.

The lyrics themselves are described by Collective Soul’s guitarist, Dean, as “basically a prayer.” Their front-man Ed Roland wrote the song in just one night, he told Songfacts:

I always had the “Shine” riff, and I thought, “That’s a cool riff.” Then I came home and spent the night with my parents and Dean, who is 10 years younger than me — I didn’t even know he played guitar. So he was playing guitar, and I joined in. I just showed him the riff, and I was like, “I need to finish this.” So, I literally just wrote it right there, with Dean, sitting in my parents’ living room. I didn’t think anything about it. I probably wrote it in 1989, and it wasn’t out until 1994.

He also told Songfacts that the lyrics may have been inspired by “This Little Light of Mine,” a song he had sung many times growing up as the son of a Baptist minister.

Collective Soul released “Shine” as their first single from their debut album, Hints Allegations and Things Left Unsaid, in 1994. If Dolly’s cover has left you nostalgic for the sounds of the 90s, here’s the original.

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