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Dolly Parton: ‘I Would Hopefully Drop Dead In The Middle Of A Song On Stage’

14 July 2023 | 11:09 am | Mary Varvaris

“I’m going to make hay while the sun shines.”

Dolly Parton on stage in Sydney

Dolly Parton on stage in Sydney (Credit: Angela Padovan)

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Joining Ken Bruce on the UK’s Planet Radio show Greatest Hits RadioDolly Parton revealed that she never wants to retire and hopes to “drop dead on stage”.

With her children’s book, Billy The Kid Makes It Bigand her Rockstar album coming later this year, Parton is pretty busy for a 77-year-old, inspiring everyone, young and old, with her energy and zest for life. Appearing on Greatest Hits Radio on Wednesday (12 July), the 9 To 5 singer said, “I would never retire!

“I would hopefully drop dead in the middle of a song on stage someday – and hopefully one I’ve written – but that’s how I hope to go. I don’t have much of a choice in that, but in the meantime, I’m going to make hay while the sun shines.”

She added, “I’m not touring anymore, but I will continue to do special shows here and there now and then, like a long weekend or festival shows. But as far as touring, I think those days are pretty much behind me... you have to stay gone so long on a tour to make it productive and prosperous, and that’s a lot of time at my age – I ain’t got no years to waste!”

Parton is releasing another book in 2023, Behind The Seams: My Life In Rhinestones, due for release on Friday, 13 October. The memoir will chronicle Parton’s 60-year music journey, with the singer telling Bruce, “I've been at this 60 years now; I started like when I was ten years old,” she said.

“And so I've got six decades of music and clothes behind me... hairdos, and it just kind of shows all the transitions all through the years of what I've worn and talking about it.” You can listen to Parton’s chat here.

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Earlier this month, Parton confirmed that she disapproves of hologram tours – we won’t be seeing a Dolly-tar in the fashion of ABBA’s ABBA-tars after she does pass away.

Parton said in a press conference, “I think I’ve left a great body of work behind. I have to decide how much of that high-tech stuff I want to be involved [with] because I don’t want to leave my soul here on this earth.

“I think with some of this stuff, I’ll be grounded here forever,” she continued. “I’ll be around; we’ll find ways to keep me here.”

Parton’s Rockstar album arrives after her induction into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, an honour she didn’t feel she deserved at the time.

“I am very honored [sic] 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,” she wrote on her website. “I hope everybody enjoys the album as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together!”

Check out the full tracklist here and pre-order the album here.