Dolly Parton Vows To Never Retire, Says “I’ll Just Hopefully Drop Dead In The Middle Of A Song Onstage Someday”

“I will never retire. I’ll just hopefully drop dead in the middle of a song onstage someday, and hopefully, one I’ve written,” Parton stated.

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Melinda Lorge

Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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Posted on October 31, 2023

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Dolly Parton; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

Dolly Parton may have climbed the ladder of success, but the country music legend has no intentions of slowing down. In a recent interview with Greatest Hits Radio‘s Ken Bruce, the 77-year-old “9 to 5” icon revealed her wishes to never retire and said she wants to keep on living out what she does best until her end of life. 

Vows To Never Retire

“I’m not one to sit around doing nothing,” Parton said with busy fingers. “I will never retire. I’ll just hopefully drop dead in the middle of a song onstage someday, and hopefully, one I’ve written. But, anyhow, that’s how I hope to go. Of course, we don’t have much of a choice in that.”

“As long as I’m able to work, as long as my health is good, and my husband is good, I mean, the only way that I would ever slow down or stop would be for that reason. But, in the meantime, I’m going to make hay while the sun shines,” she added.

Will No Longer Tour

While she plans to keep on keeping on, Parton previously announced that she is no longer conducting full tours. However, she does plan on doing one-off shows, depending on the situation and occasion. The “Coat of Many Colors” singer also wears many hats and has shown that through other endeavors, such as the 1995 launch of her Imagination Library — a book gifting program that mails free books to children. 

Along with that, the 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee has her first-ever rock album in the works. The project, titled Rockstar is due out on Nov. 17 and will feature a vast number of iconic artists like Beatles members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Sting, John Fogerty, Pat Benatar, and many others. Already, Parton has shared a few songs from the upcoming project, which includes 21 covers and 9 originals. 

Dolly Parton 'Rockstar' Album Art
Dolly Parton ‘Rockstar’ Album Art

New Book, Behind The Seams: My Life In Rhinestones

If that isn’t enough, the 10-time Grammy winner also has a book titled Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones coming out on Oct. 17. The book gives readers an in-depth look inside Parton’s life and also includes photographs highlighting many of her most prized outfits throughout the years. 

“I always believed that if you wanted to have your dreams come true, and you were lucky enough to make that happen, then you have to be responsible because you’ve got to keep the dream alive, and every dream kind of spawns another dream,” Parton shared. “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, that’s got a lot of leaves. So, why not make the most of it?” 

Dolly Parton; Photo By Andrew Wendowski
Dolly Parton; Photo By Andrew Wendowski

Parton Says She Has “New Dreams Every Day”

And while Parton has her hands full of multiple projects, from an album to a book to shows spread out, she promises her dreams and goals don’t stop there.  

“I have new dreams every day. I’ve got lots of dreams…,” she admits, running down a list of other desires she has set her sights on. 

“I want to have my own network TV show, where I can actually do a lot of new things and produce,” she explains. “I want to have my own story called Life of Many Colors where I have a whole series of my life – stuff that people haven’t seen or known or heard about, and my people and where I come from, how I got to be who I am, but to really have the behind-the-scenes and the adventures of my life, all of the behind the scenes with all of these different bands and all of the situations that can come from that, the bad, the good, the ugly, the different.”

Dolly Parton; Photo Courtesy of Butterfly Records/Vijat Mohindra
Dolly Parton; Photo Courtesy of Butterfly Records/Vijat Mohindra

Parton also shares that she would like to “host more TV shows, do more movies, just kind of play it off of what I’ve already created.”

“I want to have my own line of makeup, a line of wigs. That sort of thing, and clothes,” she adds. “You know, that branding, which we’re doing so much of now. So, 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.” 

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Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Music Mayhem, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.

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