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Dolly Parton Says Anger Can Be Useful: ‘I’ll Tell Ya Where To Put It If I Don’t Like Where You Got It’

13 September 2023 | 10:49 am | Ellie Robinson

“You gotta push me pretty far to get me stirred up – but then I become my daddy.”

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton (Supplied)

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Dolly Parton is country music’s eternal optimist, well known for her infectious smile and sprawling list of philanthropic efforts. But as she revealed in a new chat with TalkShopLive’s Nancy O’Dell, Parton is not immune to feeling angry at times.

While fans “ain’t going to see” her get riled up in public anytime soon, she explained (as transcribed by Country Now), “I’m just a regular person. I’m not one where I’m one person out here and another [in private]. I’m a businessperson. Sometimes you’ve just kind of gotta pitch a fit to get it done or get it done right. Like I’ve always said, I’ll tell ya where to put it if I don’t like where you got it. I think anybody’s like that. You can’t just go through life just floating around getting anything done.”

As for how she employs her occasional ire, Parton stressed that she isn’t prone to blowing up at her team members or leaning on anger to get her way, instead raising her voice “for an effect” when she really needs people to get on her wavelength. She quippily noted, “I don’t lose my temper, but I use my temper.”

“Of course I’ve lost it a few times but it’s not that I’m losing my temper,” she continued, “I’m trying to use it because sometimes there are just some people you have to speak up to. Because if they don’t know, especially as a shock, for somebody like me to raise my voice to people, that’s not what they’re used to... You gotta push me pretty far to get me stirred up – but then I become my daddy.”

Parton appeared on TalkShopLive, a livestreamed shopping network, to promote her upcoming 49th album, Rockstar (which is due out on November 17 via Butterfly and Big Machine Records). The topic of anger came up in relation to the album’s lead single, World On Fire, which is arguably her angriest song to date with a heavy political slant.

She said of her motivation for writing the track: “With all the greed and the hate and just everything, it just bottled up in me, and I felt I needed to say something because I just felt like I should and somebody might listen. I don’t know how much it will do because we just keep not trying to do as good as we should, and I just really felt like I needed to say something, so I did. I did feel like at least I got that off my chest. At least I got it out there just to make people think, if nothing else.”

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Shortly after she released World On Fire, Parton opened up about her disdain for modern politicians in an interview on NBC. When asked which figured she’d aimed to address with the track, the legendary singer answered: “All of ‘em. I don't think any of ‘em are trying hard enough. I’m sure we're all trying, but often I think that they worry more about the party than they do about the people.”