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Article

Dolly Parton previews massive summer tour

‘I decided that I was going to take the chance and see if people really wanted to see me,’ the legend says of her 60-date trek.

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Kevin Winter/ACM2016/Getty Images for dcp

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.