Country music star Dolly Parton says her first rock album Rockstar is some of her best, as well as most fun, work she has ever done.
Parton, 77, has teamed up with famous names like former Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, veteran singers Elton John and Sting as well as her goddaughter Miley Cyrus, for the record released in November.
“I’ve lived my whole life mainly in country music and I love it,” Parton told a news conference in London on Thursday.
“This was just a whole new thing for me and I’ve just really put my heart and soul into it and I’d like to think it’s some of the best work I’ve ever done.”
Rockstar, which was inspired by Parton’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year, features nine original songs and 21 covers.
“I enjoy getting to do something besides my own songs or just country songs. I wanted to see what I could do for me and for the audience,” Parton said.
“I went places that I didn’t even know that I was going to go… it was a joy for me, I have to say, one of the most fun things I’ve ever done.”
Asked whether lead single World of Fire – in which she sings about “greedy politicians” among other things – had a political statement, Parton said, “I write (songs) just to make people think, not to make major statements anymore than to make people just look and feel and think about what we can do to do better.”
Parton, who is working on making a musical about her life for Broadway, said there was one more genre she wanted to cross over to: gospel.
“I want to really do something great… more of an uplifting thing… At my age, you think about what’s going on in the world and you think ‘I’m not going to be around here that long’ so I want to leave some kind of messages.”
Rockstar also features collaborations with Lizzo, Stevie Nicks, Kid Rock, Simon Le Bon, P!nk, Debbie Harry and Joan Jett among other well-known music names.