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Tuesday, April 2, 2024 9:00am ET by  
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Beyoncé Reveals Stevie Wonder’s Input on “Jolene”

Beyoncé has thanked Stevie Wonder for playing the harmonica on her cover of country music legend Dolly Parton's classic track, "Jolene" — originally released in 1973. 

Beyoncé covered the chart-topping hit on her new country album Cowboy Carter and revealed Wonder's involvement when he presented her with the Innovator Award at the iHeartRadio Music Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles during the weekend on April 1.

The global megastar started her acceptance speech by thanking Wonder, saying: "Thank you so much Stevie, I love you. I love you and I honor you. I want to thank you for making a way for all of us.

"I'm honored to receive this recognition from you, Stevie Wonder. Whenever anyone asks me if there's anyone I can listen to for the rest of my life, it's always you. So thank you, God bless you."

Wonder responded: "I want to thank you for motivating the world to be a better place," before Beyonce went on to add: "And thank you for playing the harmonica on "Jolene"."

Beyoncé then went on to talk about her award, saying: "Innovation starts with a dream. But then you have to execute that dream, and that road can be very bumpy.

"Being an innovator is seeing what everyone believes is impossible. Being an innovator often means being criticized, which often will test your mental strength.

"Being an innovator is leaning on faith and trusting that God will catch you and guide you. So, to all the record labels, every radio station, every award show, my hope is that we're more open to the joy and liberation that comes from enjoying art with no preconceived notions. 

"I want to dedicate this award to all the innovators who have dedicated their lives and their art to creating shifts. So thank you for your sacrifices, your powerful voices and your dauntless spirits."

She also thanked her husband Jay-Z - who she called her "rock" - and their three children before adding:

"Thank you to Rosetta Tharpe. Miss Tracy Chapman, Linda Martell, Prince, Stevie Wonder, Andre 3000, Tina Turner, Michael Jackson and so many more who defied any label placed upon them. Thank you for executing your dream so we could all follow."

The event also featured a tribute to pop icon Cher, who received the Icon Award, as well as performances by Justin Timberlake, Green Day, TLC, Jelly Roll, Lainey Wilson and Tate McRae.

Cowboy Carter is Beyoncé's eighth studio album, and was released on March 29 via Parkwood Entertainment and Columbia Records. The LP is the second installment of her trilogy project conceived during the COVID-19 pandemic, following Renaissance (2022).

Watch Beyonce accepting the Innovator Award at the iHeartRadio Music Awards below.

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