Dolly Parton’s Rockstar album is officially here and it packs a punch with nine original songs and 21 covers that feature legendary artists from across the decades.
While it’s no surprise that the beloved Country queen was able to secure some major A-list artists for the project, we’re all curious to know exactly how Dolly approached each artist with the ask. From Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr to Elton John and Lizzo, there's no shortage of star power and according to Parton it all “just fell into place.”
“It all fell right into place. I had already recorded the album, I wasn’t planning to ask people to sing on it, I was just going to do it. And then I thought I might have a couple people join me and then all of a sudden I had all these great artists,” She told Holly of Rob + Holly during a special Holly + Dolly edition of the Friday Night Takeover.
“I didn’t want to ask them blatantly, where they could say no if they didn’t want to hurt my feelings and make them feel bad about having to say no. So, I just went through managers for a bigger part of them.”
One of the biggest shocks from the album for fans worldwide was Dolly’s ability to get The Beatles’ Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr together for a collaboration of “Let It Be,” along with special guests Peter Frampton and Mick Fleetwood.
“I knew Paul from different things, so I just sent a message that [read], ‘I’ve done your song and I wondered if there’s be a possibility if you’d sing on it.’ I didn't ask him to play the piano,” she clarified. “Then he sent back and said, ‘I’d be happy to play the piano if you want me to and sing on it.’”
“Then after I put Paul on it, I thought, ‘Wow! I need to get Ringo to be on this because they’re the last of The Beatles. Everything just seemed to fall into place with all these great artists.”
In addition to getting The Beatles back together, Dolly also shed a big light on the impact females have had in the Rock space by featuring friends like Joan Jett, Melissa Etheridge, Linda Ronstadt, Pat Benatar and many more.
“I wanted to have some of the great girls. I wasn’t trying to make a statement of any kind,” she said of all the female features. “I just admire those girls so much… we just had so many great female artists on there.”
In addition to the great talent already on the project, Dolly shared there was one artist she wasn’t able to secure and that was Tina Turner.
“I wanted Tina. I had reached out to them for her to sing and she was already getting in to being too far gone with her illness to be able to sing it," she shared of Turner, who passed in May 2023. "But I would have really loved that. Would’t that have been cool?”
Hear more about the album, collaborations and Dolly's fashion by checking out her entire conversation with Holly above.
Words by Monica Rivera Interview by Rob + Holly