Dolly Parton Talks Her Rock Album, Crush on Mick Jagger and New Book (Exclusive)

The singer is telling ET about her exciting upcoming projects.

Dolly Parton is taking her music in a new direction. ET's Rachel Smith spoke to the 77-year-old singer, and she dished all about her upcoming rock album, Rock Star.

Parton decided to put out a rock album after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an honor she initially declined. Eventually, though, she opted to accept the distinction "gracefully," and, in response, put out an album befitting of it. No one was more excited by Parton's new music than her "rock and roller" husband, Carl Dean.

"He's one of the main reasons I did this album," Parton told ET. "...He's more excited about this than anything I've ever done."

It's not just Dean who's excited for Parton's new music. A-list performers are likewise thrilled, with stars including Elton John, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, and Pink set to collaborate on tracks.

"I was really pleased. Like everything I do, I ask God to bless it and to guide me in it and to let it be a blessing for everybody that's involved in it," she said. "I've made some really good friends. It's just really had a good, positive effect on everybody... It's gonna get a lot of publicity and everybody wanted to do their best for me. I wanted to do my best for them. So, because of that, we really came up with some great stuff."

Parton, however, didn't get everyone she wanted on the album, as Mick Jagger was unable to sign on. The lack of Jagger on Rock Star was a real bummer for Parton, who said she's "always had a crush" on the Rolling Stones frontman, joking, "I ran after him like a high school girl after a jock."

"There was a lot of people I wanted, and a lot of people that would have been happy to do [it] and actually wanted to do it, but we never could either find the right song or we never could get our schedules together before our deadline was over," Parton explained. "But I love Mick Jagger no matter what. I'll still be running after him all all through the years. Maybe if I ever do another one, or maybe I can sing on one of his records."

While fans have to wait until November to hear the full album, Parton will be debuting its first song when she co-hosts the ACM Awards next month.

"It's the last song in the show and the first song from the rock album. We're going to put it out right after that as the first single," Parton said. "And then we'll have a couple of songs probably before the entire album comes out. I'm so excited."

Amid the wait for Rock Star, Parton's fans can support the singer by picking up her latest children's book, Dolly Parton's Billy the Kid Makes It Big, which is out now.

"It's about how to build your confidence, and it's about standing up to bullies. And of course, I love that it's got music in it," Parton said. "It kind of tells the story of some of the young people that come to Nashville trying to make it, all the things you go up against, some of the others telling you that you can't do it, you should just go on back home and all that. It's really about just following your dream no matter what happened. Just keep on keeping on till you see your dream come true."

Parton herself knows about perseverance, as she "went through some pretty hard times" on her quest for success. The book, Parton hopes, will inspire readers to stay true to themselves amid life's challenges.

"If you let other people define you, you will never even know who you are and you'll never know what you could or couldn't have accomplished in your life," she said. "...You're good the way you are. That's why you're here. You're you. You were born to be you, not somebody else."



Latest News