Dolly Parton is a total rockstar… but you certainly don’t need me to tell you that.
The 77-year old country icon released her first full-fledged rock and roll album today, an idea that spawned after she was nominated, and subsequently inducted, into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year.
At the time, she actually tried to remove herself from the running, though they told her it was too late because ballots had already been sent out.
She later accepted with grace, but was determined to “earn” her place there, though it’s honestly more of a “music” hall of fame than a truly “rock” hall of fame. Her friend and fellow country legend Willie Nelson was just inducted a couple weeks ago, too.
Of this lofty venture, Dolly says she had a “wonderful time” working with so many iconic artists and singing on some of their most famous songs, and in some cases, with them:
“I can’t tell you how proud I am of the Rockstar album, and I can’t tell you how happy I am that it’s finally here to be released.
I really had a wonderful time working with all these iconic artists on the record and all these iconic musicians.
Not to mention all these iconic songs that I think everybody will love hearing again. I just hope you enjoy my version of them.”
And of course, Dolly has a rolodex probably deeper and more star-studded than anyone else in the music industry, and she brought out some of rock and roll’s most legendary musicians for this project.
With features from the likes of Steve Perry, John Fogarty, Steven Tyler, Stevie Nicks, Elton John, Pat Benatar, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, just to name a few, I can’t think of any album that has so many incredibly iconic artists on one tracklist. That in and of itself is a feat and something worthy of discussion and praise.
Really, it’s a testament to the respect and adoration some of music’s most successful and admired musicians have for the Queen of Country… like I’ve said before, assembling such a lengthy list of talent is something I don’t think any other living artist could pull off.
It’s funny, too, because a large part of this project was in an effort for Dolly to prove, in a way, that she deserves her spot in the HOF… like, she’s Dolly Parton? Her humility is one of my favorite things about her.
She previously released collaborations with some of the biggest names in music, from “Magic Man (Carl Version) ft. Ann Wilson,” “Bygones ft. Rob Halford with special guests Nikki Sixx & John 5,” and a mashup Queen’s multi-Platinum mega hits “We Are The Champions” and “We Will Rock You.”
She even got The Beatles back together(enough said, really), and there’s also a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Free Bird” with the late Gary Rossington and Artimus Pyle, along with posthumous vocals from original legendary frontman and Ronnie Van Zandt… a perfect album closer, if you ask me.
One of the greatest, if not the greatest, musicians of our time, Dolly has delivered once again, and honestly, I could go on and on about the importance of her contributions to music and how daring and impressive this new record is, but I think hearing it for yourself is the best way to do it.
The fact that she’s still pushing and reinventing herself after over 50 years in the industry is spectacular, and another quality that should be admired… I’m actually starting to think that Dolly Parton isn’t human.
From her duet with Chris Stapleton on Bob Seger’s “Night Moves” (one of my early favorites), to her solo cover of Prince’s “Purple Rain” that blew me away, and her collab with P!nk and Brandi Carlile for their rousing rendition of the Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction,” this album will stand the test of time and likely be remembered as one of her most impressive ventures outside of country music.
I could’ve listed every tune on the 30-song tracklist, honestly, but I tried to narrow it down to seven just so you have a place to start.
Once again, Dolly has proved that she’s a rockstar in every sense of the term (which even feels like an understatement), and belongs in any sort of Hall of Fame she damn well pleases.
Here’s to the greatest to ever do it, and one of the greatest gifts to this world and music, Mrs. Dolly Parton.
Turn ’em up…
“Night Moves (feat. Chris Stapleton)”
“I Want You Back (feat. Steven Tyler)”
“(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (feat. P!nk & Brandi Carlile)”
“Every Breath You Take (feat. Sting)”
“Open Arms (feat. Steve Perry)”
“Stairway To Heaven (feat. Lizzo & Sasha Flute)”
“Free Bird (feat. Lynyrd Skynyrd)”
1. Rock Star (special guest Richie Sambora)
2. World on Fire
3. Every Breath You Take (feat. Sting)
4. Open Arms (feat. Steve Perry)
5. Magic Man (feat. Ann Wilson with special guest Howard Leese)
6. Long As I Can See The Light (feat. John Fogerty)
7. Either Or (feat. Kid Rock)
8. I Want You Back (feat. Steven Tyler with special guest Warren Haynes)
9. What Has Rock And Roll Ever Done For You (feat. Stevie Nicks with special guest Waddy Wachtel)
10. Purple Rain
11. Baby, I Love Your Way (feat. Peter Frampton)
12. I Hate Myself For Loving You (feat. Joan Jett & The Blackhearts)
13. Night Moves (feat. Chris Stapleton)
14. Wrecking Ball (feat. Miley Cyrus)
15. (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction (feat. P!nk & Brandi Carlile)
16. Keep On Loving You (feat. Kevin Cronin)
17. Heart Of Glass (feat. Debbie Harry)
18. Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me (feat. Elton John)
19. Tried To Rock And Roll Me (feat. Melissa Etheridge)
20. Stairway To Heaven (feat. Lizzo & Sasha Flute)
21. We Are The Champions
22. Bygones (feat. Rob Halford with special guests Nikki Sixx & John 5)
23. My Blue Tears (feat. Simon Le Bon)
24. What’s Up? (feat. Linda Perry)
25. You’re No Good (feat. Emmylou Harris & Sheryl Crow)
26. Heartbreaker (feat. Pat Benatar & Neil Giraldo)
27. Bittersweet (feat. Michael McDonald)
28. I Dreamed About Elvis (feat. Ronnie McDowell with special guest The Jordanaires)
29. Let It Be (feat. Paul McCartney & Ringo Starr with special guests Peter Frampton & Mick Fleetwood)
30. Free Bird (feat. Ronnie Van Zant with special guests Gary Rossington, Artimus Pyle and The Artimus Pyle Band)