Dolly Parton has announced a genre switch to rock music, and has tapped what will surely be the starriest supporting cast for any album this year.
With a career spanning over fifty years, Parton has been described as a "country music legend" and has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the best-selling female artists of all time. And now she's branching out into good ol' rock'n'roll.
Her keenly anticipated new album - Rockstar - features nearly four dozen world-famous guest artists straddling multiple genres and generations. It's a truly impressive 'supporting cast' and is expected to be a global chart topper when the 30 track album is released in November.
Her cover of Let It Be features both surviving Beatles alongside Peter Frampton and Mick Fleetwood, while You’re No Good features one of Parton’s most creatively fruitful collaborators, Emmylou Harris, alongside Sheryl Crow.
She also takes on a handful of classics as duets alongside the original artists, from Heart of Glass with Debbie Harry, to Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me with Elton John, Every Breath You Take with Sting, Free Bird with members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and Wrecking Ball with goddaughter Miley Cyrus. Frampton also appears on a version of Baby, I Love Your Way.
Stevie Nicks, Simon Le Bon, Steven Tyler, Joan Jett, Michael McDonald, Pat Benatar and Chris Stapleton are among the numerous other guests. Parton also takes three solo numbers, including versions of Queen’s We Are the Champions and Prince’s Purple Rain.
Parton says on her website that she was “very honoured and privileged to have worked with some of the greatest iconic singers and musicians of all time, and to be able to sing all the iconic songs throughout the album was a joy beyond measure”.
Her foray into rock music comes following her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2022, which she initially declined, saying: “I don’t feel that I have earned that right … This has, however, inspired me to put out a hopefully great rock’n’roll album at some point in the future, which I have always wanted to do!” She later accepted the Hall of Fame honour, saying: “It was always my belief that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was for the people in rock music, and I have found out lately that it’s not necessarily that.”
The album is now available for pre-order on digital, CD and vinyl. The lead track - World on Fire - is being released today.