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Dolly Parton on Making ‘Rockstar’: A Journey into Rock & Roll

Dolly Parton embraces rock with her upcoming album “Rockstar,” inspired by her husband’s love for the genre. The album, a surprising departure from her country roots, features 30 tracks, including collaborations with rock legends. Parton’s powerful vocals and dedication to the genre add a unique twist, making “Rockstar” a highly anticipated venture into uncharted musical territory.

Dolly Parton Talks Rockstar Album

Dolly Parton: A Rock Journey

Dolly Parton, the legendary country icon, takes an unexpected turn with her latest venture, the rock album “Rockstar.” The inspiration came from her husband’s deep love for rock’n’roll, and Parton dedicated the album to him. Released on November 17 through Butterfly Records/Big Machine Label Group, “Rockstar” is not just a tribute to rock’s classics but a testament to Parton’s versatility.

The Challenge of Rock’n’Roll

In an exclusive interview, Parton revealed the challenges of embracing a genre she hadn’t explored fully. “Rockstar” features 30 tracks, with Parton not only covering rock classics but collaborating with original artists. The album celebrates her induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2022, an honor she initially felt she needed to “earn.” This sentiment adds a personal touch to the project.

A Surprise Chart-Topper

One standout track, “World on Fire,” not only showcases Parton’s vocal prowess but also topped the Billboard Rock Digital Sales chart in May. This marked her first rock chart-topper, adding another milestone to Parton’s extensive career. The song carries a powerful message about the world’s state, addressing lying and greedy politicians.

Vocal Power Unleashed

Parton’s powerhouse vocals shine throughout the album, surprising those who might not have considered her a rock belter. The artist acknowledges the necessity of passion and power in rock, and she embraced the challenge wholeheartedly. Her dedication to doing justice to the genre is evident, driven by a desire for the rock community to be proud of her contribution.

A Star-Studded Collaboration

“Rockstar” is not just about Parton’s solo journey; it’s a collaborative effort with some of rock’s biggest names. Elton John, Ann Wilson, John Fogerty, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr join her on various tracks. Parton’s duet with Steve Perry on Journey’s “Open Arms” was a poignant moment, considering the song was originally suggested by her husband years ago.

Studio Stories and Magic Moments

Parton shares anecdotes from the studio, emphasizing the joy of recording live with collaborators like John Fogerty, Stevie Nicks, Ann Wilson, and Debbie Harry. These experiences, she notes, added a unique magic to the album. Parton’s chemistry with her fellow musicians created an atmosphere of authenticity and camaraderie.

A Controversial Collaboration

The inclusion of Kid Rock on the track “Either Or” stirred some controversy, given his previous actions. Parton addressed the matter, explaining that the collaboration was initiated before the controversy. The song, which explores the theme of a “bad boy,” felt fitting for Kid Rock’s persona.

The Heart Behind “World on Fire”

Parton’s original track, “World on Fire,” takes a bold stance on global issues. It reflects her concern about the destructive path humanity is on due to greed and ignorance. The song’s creation was an impulsive response to the state of the world, showcasing Parton’s willingness to use her platform for meaningful commentary.

A Final Note on Rock

As “Rockstar” marks a departure from Parton’s usual country roots, she assures fans that this won’t become a recurring theme. She recognizes the significance of leaving a comprehensive musical legacy, and with 30 songs on this album, she believes it’s a robust contribution to the rock genre.

In conclusion, “Rockstar” is not just an album; it’s a testament to Dolly Parton’s artistic evolution. From challenging herself with a new genre to collaborating with rock legends, Parton continues to defy expectations and leave an indelible mark on the music world.

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