Everybody loves Dolly Parton.
The icon — who in wide-ranging interview with The Hollywood Reporter discusses her new rock album, all-star collaborations and more — is your favorite singer’s favorite singer. And those singers, from Ringo Starr to Sting to Carrie Underwood, tell us why they’ll always love Dolly Parton.
“I’ve known Dolly since the ’70s — we would bump into her over the years. She has always been so great, and I’ve admired how much good she does in the world. I first got the call through Mick Fleetwood that Dolly was trying to reach me and ask if I would play on ‘Let It Be.‘ She sent me the files and it was my pleasure to play on it for her. I think it’s great it has topped the charts! Well done and peace and love to you, Dolly!”
“The first time I heard Dolly was on a jukebox at O’Neal’s bar on Columbus Ave. in 1977. She had broken a barrier and succeeded in Top 40 radio with ‘Here You Come Again.‘ She had already been a successful country star but this was different. She just continued to break barriers down with her music, and it seemed like there was no stopping Dolly. But when Dolly wrote ‘9 to 5‘ for the movie 9 to 5 and brought the conversation of how the workplace was for women to the forefront on Top 40 radio? She became a rock star to me. Thing is, Dolly continues to break down barriers and still uses her voice and talent to speak up for those who need to be heard. That’s what rockers do. I just love her.”
“Dolly’s iconic voice and her spirit are transcendent and unique. Dolly recording ‘Every Breath You Take’ for her new album — along with Johnny Cash covering my song ‘I Hung My Head‘ and Toby Keith having a hit with ‘I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying‘ — are three of my proudest moments as a songwriter.”
“From day one, she has lived her life the way she has wanted, unapologetically, breaking rules for women and artists, breaking new ground musically many times over, has owned her style and look which is like no other and has a voice that is recognizable in two notes. And she continues to evolve and grow. If that’s not a rockstar, I don’t know what is.”
“She’s special because she came from a bare-bones, hard life. She survived. She improvised. She persevered. She followed her dreams … and she’s still doing it. I love how she treats everyone as equals. When she did the Reba show, everybody was already in love with her, but the way she treated everyone from the actors to the crew behind the scenes, she had them as fans for the rest of their lives.”
“Dolly has always been one of my she-roes. She is so much more than an incredible artist and brilliant entrepreneur — she is a force of nature.”
“There are few artists who have impacted as many generations of musicians and fans as Dolly Parton. It’s not just her love of the music but her love of the people that defines her among legends. She’s already a rockstar — turning her unique talents to this new genre will be a joy for all of us lucky enough to listen.”
“Dolly Parton has always been an idol of mine. To be a part of anything she does is a absolute honor! Dolly is a smart, beautiful woman with talent enough for a dozen people.”
“She simply meets no strangers — she’s like meeting someone you’ve known a long time. She is a pleasure to be around and full of what I love: laughter!!”