What could Dolly Parton, now 70, possibly have left to prove? Absolutely nothing. Instead she’s heading out for her biggest trek in more than 25 years, playing 60-plus dates on her Pure + Simple tour between now and the end of the year — because, well, she wants to.
“I could think of lots of other stuff I could be doing,” Parton tells EW. “But I don’t think there’s anything else I would enjoy as much.”
Just three bandmates will join Parton on the road, ensuring crowds stripped-down versions of new material as well as a reintroduction to old favorites. “One thing we’re doing in this new show, is this segment called A Piece of American Pie,” she says of the set structure. “I picked some of those sing-a-long songs like [Bob Dylan’s] ‘Blowing in the Wind,’ [The Weavers] ‘If I Had a Hammer,’ [Don McClean’s] ‘American Pie,’ so that the crowd can sing along.”
To go along with the tour, she’s releasing a two-disc album of the same name — one, a set of brand new, original tunes, and the other, a collection of greatest hits. The original fare was inspired by the title track. “When I wrote it, it was so sweet and about love I thought, ‘Well, I’m just gonna write this whole album about love.’ It’s all love songs.”
And while prepping for her big year is daunting, the icon is nothing but excited: “My whole dream was writing songs, performing them, and getting the chance to see the fans and thank them. It’s a great lovefest, really.”
Parton’s tour kicks off on June 3 in Greensboro, North Carolina. A full list of dates can be found at her website.