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When it comes to singing a sad song, Dolly Parton and Trisha Yearwood are two of the best vocalists we’ve ever had in country music. That’s why it was such a treat to hear Trisha sing Dolly’s classic holiday song “Hard Candy Christmas” on this year’s “CMA Country Christmas” special.

Backed up by a full string section, Trisha wrings all of the emotion out of this melancholy song, which has become a Christmastime staple in the years since Dolly first recorded it in 1982.

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Trisha first released her version of “Hard Candy Christmas” on her 2016 holiday duets album with hubby Garth Brooks, “Christmas Together.” Recording her own version of a Dolly song wasn’t something she took lightly.

“Covering Dolly Parton is dangerous, because nobody can do those licks,” Trisha explains. “Nobody can do it like Dolly, but I’ve always loved that song. So, it was on my list. When you talk about, ‘What do you bring to the table that you’ve always wanted to do?’ I ‘ve always wanted to record that song.”

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Besides, Trisha is a sucker for melancholy music.

She adds, “I’ve always gravitated towards sad songs as an artist in general, because I just like the emotion they evoke.”

Trisha is happy to know that Dolly approves of her version of “Hard Candy Christmas.”

ABC will re-air the “CMA Country Christmas” special in its entirety on Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. (ET).

In the meantime, Trisha and Garth are up for Tour of the Year at this year’s Rare Country Awards. Voting is open through December 13 at RareCountryAwards.com. The winners will be announced at a livestreamed concert event airing December 14.

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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