Girl In The Movies

Songfacts®:

  • This inspirational track about building up the courage to follow your dreams was recorded by Dolly Parton for the Netflix movie Dumplin'. Based on the best-selling young adult novel of the same by Julie Murphy, the film tells the story of a plus-size girl who enters a beauty pageant to show up her former beauty queen mom. Parton sings the song as the title character.
  • Dumplin' references Parton and her music throughout, so it makes sense that the country icon performs on every song on the soundtrack. Parton wrote six of the twelve tracks exclusively for the film, with the remaining six being re-recordings of some of the Nashville star's earlier hits.
  • Parton co-wrote this song with former 4 Non Blondes lead singer and frequent Christina Aguilera and Pink collaborator Linda Perry. Among the Aguilera tracks Perry has songwriting credits for are "Beautiful," "Hurt" and "Keeps Gettin' Better." The Pink hits that Perry contributed towards include "Get The Party Started" and "U And Ur Hand."

    2018 was a big year for Perry: she was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Producer of the Year for her work on the soundtrack to the film Served Like A Girl, making her the first woman nominated for that award without a male co-producer since Paula Cole in 1997.
  • Parton revealed in a behind-the-scenes video that Perry's "really pretty" melody inspired her lyrics.

    "I just put myself in that place of that little girl, dreaming of being something more," the country star said. "We all have to try to be our better selves, and that's really important."
  • Parton was a fan of Dumplin', the book, long before being asked to write songs for the movie. Jennifer Aniston, who stars in the film, is the executive producer. It was her production company that reached out to Parton.
  • Dolly Parton hoped the song would be a duet with her goddaughter Miley Cyrus and they did record a cut of it together. Dumplin was originally scheduled to come out in 2017 when Miley was in between projects and had some spare time. However, the movie was eventually released a year later, by which time the former Hannah Montana star was working on a new record and planning a new tour. When the decision was made this was going to be the movie's theme song, they had to take Cyrus off the tune as she was too busy with her other commitments.
  • When Linda Perry spoke with Songfacts in 2021, she shared her thoughts on working with Parton: "There is no one like Dolly Parton and never will be. She is so powerful and so smart and funny and a beautiful person. I always say she is operating on a frequency that nobody will ever hear or get to.

    I learned a lot from her because she is so open and willing and wanting to give to other people around her and lift them up and lift their spirits no matter who they are. She's always trying to make everybody shine and you can see that. She wants to share the shine with everyone."

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