It was an extra-special edition of “Kellyoke” on the Oct. 17 episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show. Host Kelly Clarkson and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson celebrated the life and legacy of the late Loretta Lynn with a version of “Don’t Come Home A Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ On Your Mind).” Loretta, who passed away on October 4 at age 90, had many great duets in her time, but this breakthrough hit wasn’t one – until now. Kelly, 40, and Dwayne, 50, each traded off lyrics before coming together for the final chorus. Kelly killed it, as expected, but The Rock did a pretty good job, as he infused his undeniable charisma into the performance.
Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time that The Rock has performed a Loretta Lynn song. In 2005’s Be Cool, he covered “You Ain’t Woman Enough (To Take My Man),” per Country Music Nation. Two years later, Johnson would cover Elvis Presley’s “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” for The Game Plan. That song also holds a place in The Rock Lore: he performed the Presley hit during his first time hosting Saturday Night Live in 2000. The then-WWE Superstar had help from two unlikely sources: Paul “The Big Show” Wight and Mick Foley, who came in as The Rock’s backup singers. And, of course, The Rock also sang “You’re Welcome” from Disney’s Moana.
“Our precious mom, Loretta Lynn, passed away peacefully this morning, October 4th, in her sleep at home in her beloved ranch in Hurricane Mills,” the family of the country music legend said in a statement (h/t AP News). Loretta grew up in Butcher Holler as the daughter of a coal miner, which would become the title of her breakout hit in the 1960s.
“Coal Miner’s Daughter,” “You Ain’t Woman Enough,” “The Pill,” “Don’t Come Home a Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” “Rated X” and “You’re Looking at Country” established Loretta as an honest voice in country music, one that would continue to inspire performers up until her death. She would duet with Conway Twitty, Willy Nelson, Elvis Costello, Tanya Tucker, and more.
“Today is a sad day,” said Sissy Spacek in a statement following Loretta’s death. Sissy, 72, won the Oscar for Best Actress for her portrayal of Loretta in the 1980’s biopic Coal Miner’s Daughter. “The world lost a magnificent human being,” said Spacek. “Loretta Lynn was a great artist, a strong and resilient country music pioneer, and a precious friend. I am heartbroken. I send my deepest sympathies to her wonderful family, her friends, and her loyal fans.”