On Dolly Parton‘s just-released Rockstar album, the 77-year-old teamed up with several rock music icons, including Lynyrd Skynyrd, Peter Frampton, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks and more. But amid the names of the rock and roll legends is Chris Stapleton, who joins Parton on “Night Moves.” The song was originally to feature Bob Seger, who had to step away from the project due to health concerns. And when he did, Parton’s first call was to Stapleton.
“Chris is not exactly a rock and roller, but he is one of my favorite artists in the whole wide world,” Parton tells The Tennessean. “His aura, emotion, essence, feel and singing are [universally beloved].”
“Even though he felt the song was out of the range of his vocal key, he added ad-libs and harmonies to my performance,” she adds. “He did a fantastic job. When I heard our voices together, I just about melted into the floor.”
When Parton began creating what became Rockstar, it was so she could feel better about her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an invitation she initially turned down. It wasn’t until the project was nearly completed that Parton had the idea to ask artists to join her on the album.
“I had recorded a lot of the songs myself before I even realized that I was really going to hit on people to come sing with me,” Parton tells Billboard. “Then after I recorded them, I was like, ‘Oh my goodness. If I’m going to do ‘Let It Be’ [or] ‘Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me,’ I’m going to ask the people known for those songs if they will do it.”
Parton has been singing her entire life, but she admits recording some of the songs on Rockstar was a challenge, even for her.
“I didn’t really know how I was going to sing all those songs… I live by my gut and I think I busted my gut on some of them, but I have a good range… I’m such a stylist that everybody just knows my voice and you don’t know if I can sing or not because I just sing different,” Parton says on her own Apple Music’s What Would Dolly Do? Radio,
You don’t know if I’m a real singer,” she adds. “But then, when you sing a song that other people know and you can reach some of the notes that you didn’t think anybody but that person could reach. It was fun for me. It was a challenge and I wanted to do good.”
Purchase Rockstar, and find all of Parton’s music at DollyParton.com.