Dolly Parton never did things by the book.
Parton, the fourth of 12 children from a poor family in rural Tennessee, moved to Nashville immediately after graduating high school, determined to start a career in show business. Before long, songs she had written were hitting the charts and she signed her first record deal in 1965 at the age of 19.
“I never thought about being anything other than a star, and I never had a plan B,” she shared Washington Times in 2006. “If I had become something else, it would have been either a beautician or a missionary – but I never thought of giving up and always knew I would succeed.”
Parton’s success as a country musician is undisputed. She has released an astonishing 48 albums and plans to release her next sometime later this year. This time, however, she plugs in and turns the dial up to 11.
With the title Rock starThe LP is Parton’s answer to her recent induction into Rock & Roll of Fame. Parton in the first place asked to be removed from the ballot, questioning the idea of being honored in a genre she felt she did not best represent. The request was quickly rejected of the Rock Hall, and her nomination—and ultimate win—sparked some controversy among rock fans.
She immediately promised that make a rock album. Parton has described her husband as a “rock ‘n’ roll freak” and admitted that she had been considering the idea for a while before her nomination came through. “This was maybe just a sign from God for me to go ahead and do it,” she shared Billboard.
Rock star will contain both cover songs and originals. So far, Parton has revealed that the album includes covers of Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s “Free Bird,” the The Rolling Stones“(I can’t get no) satisfaction,” Led Zeppelin‘Stairway to Heaven’ Trip‘Open Arms’ Prince‘s “Purple Rain”, Elton John‘s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” and Miley Cyrus‘ “Wrecking Ball.” There will also be some originals, including an updated version of her 1973 hit “I Will Always Love You” and a newly written track that Parton debuted at her Rock Hall induction called “Rockin’.”
Parton doesn’t go it alone. She has invited an all-star cast of musicians to join her Rock starranging from rock legends to contemporary artists.
Steve Perry have recorded vocals for “Open Arms” – “her voice is amazing!” Perry later tweeted — and Paul McCartney joined her for a rendition of “Let It Be.” Other things confirmed guests whose song locations have yet to be revealed include Steven Tyler, John Fogerty, Ringo Starr, Mick Fleetwood, Joan JettSimon Le Bon, Elton John, Pat Benatar and Parton’snew friend” Stevie Nicks.
Watch Dolly Parton Perform ‘Rockin” at Her Rock Hall Induction in 2022
A group of younger artists will also feature on the album. Pink and Brandi Carlile will be heard on “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” while Miley Cyrus will appear on “I Will Always Love You” and “Wrecking Ball.” “I love that song and I love hearing Miley sing it,” Parton said Elite daily.
Some shot remotely, while other collaborations found Parton face-to-face with guests in the studio she described to Taste of country as “one of the greatest thrills.”
Parton said she and Fogerty “did it like the old days. He said, ‘Let’s just do this with a real band in the studio in real time.’ You come into this booth and I come in here and we can look at each other and we sing.”
Carlile was asked in 2021 who she looked to for inspiration in terms of having a long, successful career. Parton was her immediate answer. “She’s just a whole different kind of public figure, musically, spiritually,” Carlile shared Rolling stones. “She is a really good person and a great bridge-builder between people.”
An excited Parton says, “my life just keeps getting better and better. I’m getting older and older, but I don’t feel it and I don’t work it. I’m just still trying to work like I did when I was young, but life has been good to me,” she said Forbes.
“I’ve been very blessed and I’ve always wondered what life would be like if I was successful in my work and how people would see me in my later years,” she added, “and now I’m here and it’s nice to know that I still seem to matter in the world and I can still do some things to help make life a little bit better if I can. So it’s been a great journey. It has had its ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I don’t know what else I would do if not for this.”