Leslie Jordan has just released a gospel album filled with collaborations with LGBT+ icons from across the country music scene including the queen herself, Dolly Parton.
The Call Me Kat and Will & Grace star told NPR his new album Company’s Comin’ was inspired by his childhood growing up in the Southern Baptist church in Tennessee. He described how “everything we did – even socially” centred around the church. When he got older and realised he was gay, Jordan said it was “hard to embrace something that doesn’t embrace you” so he “wandered away” from the church.
He shared he remembered hearing “almost every single” on the album while he was growing up in the church. Jordan said one “old, old Southern hymn” on his album called “In the Sweet By and By” was “my dad’s favourite”, and he sang it alongside TJ Osborne – an openly gay country music star.
Leslie Jordan revealed that he was there for Osborne when he came out about his sexuality earlier this year. He said: “What happened was, we texted a lot, and [his coming out] was a very heartfelt decision, but it was one that he knew he had to make… I just told him, ‘I’m here, I’m here.'”
Jordan also told NPR about his experience meeting the iconic Dolly Parton for the first time through their mutual acquaintance. He said: “I was impressed with how smart she is and how present she is and what a businesswoman she is.”
The pair eventually got to collaborate on the track “Where the Soul Never Dies”, another hymn that has been performed by other legendary musicians including Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson.
Leslie Jordan said working with Parton made making the album a “much better experience because Dolly has done it for so long”.
Alongside Osborne and Parton, Company’s Comin’ also features lesbian rocker Brandi Carlile, Eddie Vedder, Tanya Tucker, Margane and Chris Stapleton. The album was released on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon and other music streaming services on Sunday (4 April).