Dolly Parton Vows to Keep Working: ‘I Would Never Retire’

Dolly Parton still has a lot more that she wants to accomplish. The 77-year-old, who will release her first rock album, appropriately called  Rockstar, later this year, has much more she wants to do, revealing that retirement will never be a part of her plan.

“I’m not one to sit around doing nothing.  I would never retire,” Parton shares on the UK’s Greatest Hits Radio. “I’ll just hopefully drop dead in the middle of a song on stage someday – hopefully one I’ve written. That’s how I hope to go. We don’t have much of a choice in that. But as long as I’m able to work, as long as my health is good and my husband is good — the only way I would ever slow down or stop would be for that reason. But in the meantime, I’m gonna make hay while the sun shines.”

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member has done more, much more, than most artists, of any genre, But Parton still has a lot more dreams she hopes to fulfill, all extensions of the massive career she built for herself in country music.

“I have new dreams every day. I’ve got lots of dreams,” Parton shares. “I want to have my own network TV show, where I can actually do a lot of new things, and produce. I want to have my own story called The Life of Many Colors, where I have a whole series of my life, stuff that people haven’t seen or know or heard about, and my people and where I come from, how I’ve got to be how and who I am.

“But to really have the behind-the-scenes and the adventures of my life,,” she continues. “All the behind-the-scenes working with all these different bands, and all the situations that can come from that, the bad, the good, the ugly, the different. That’s one thing I want to do.”

Parton will release a new book, Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones, out on October 17, giving fans an inside look at her fashion, hair and make-up choices over the years. She also wants to do more in front of the camera, including both acting and hosting.

“[I want to] host more TV shows, do more movies, just playing off of what I’ve already created,” shares the singer. “I do want to have my own line of make-up, my own line of wigs, that sort of thing, and clothes. Those things all come under that branding, which we’re doing so much of now. Once you get to a certain place in your career, you get a lot of offers, and some of them are just a little hard to turn down.”

Parton has historically capitalized on her early success in a myriad of ways, becoming one of the most successful entertainers, of any genre. It’s success she credits to both belief in herself, and an unstoppable work ethic.

“I always believed that, if you wanted your dreams to come true, and you are lucky enough to have that happen, then you’ve got to be responsible because you’ve got to keep the dream alive,” Parton explains. “And every dream spawns another dream. You can branch off of almost anything that happens, and make a business out of that as well. It’s kind of like a tree with good roots, that’s got a lot of limbs.

“It’s also got a lot of leaves,” she adds. “So why not make the most of it. I’m not one to sit around doing nothing.”

Parton recently dropped both her original song, “Bygones,” featuring. Rob Halford, with special guests Nikki Sixx and John 5 and a cover of “Magic Man (Carl Version), featuring Heart’s Ann Wilson. She debuted the first song from the record,  “World on Fire,” at the end of the 2023 ACM Awards, which she hosted alongside Garth Brooks.

“This is a song I felt very inspired to write,” Parton said. “I think it speaks about everything and to everyone this day and time. I hope it is something that will touch you and maybe touch enough people to want to make a change for the better.”

Other artists joining Parton on Rockstar include Elton John, Paul McCartney, Steven Tyler, Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Chris Stapleton, Michael McDonald, Peter Frampton and more. The record will be released on November 17. Pre-order of Rockstar is available here.

Read ‘Dolly Parton: 11 Things to Know About the Country Music Queen’ here.