Dolly Parton was candid in a recent interview with NPR podcast Dolly Parton’s America. Throughout the nearly 30-minute episode, the country legend discussed her faith and regrets as well as plans to release music after her death.
In the interview, the 73-year-old admits that she doesn’t want to leave her music in the same shape as Prince or Aretha Franklin’s untimely deaths. As a result, Parton has hundreds of unrecorded songs ready for release. When asked how she feels about being called "Saint Dolly" and what happens when she’s no longer here, she detailed her hopes for new producers to reinterpret her music long after she's gone and to release those creations in the future.
“First of all, I’m no saint," she says with a laugh. “Trust me. But, for me, as far as what I hope my music will be left behind, I hope that it will always live. I think a lot of that other stuff may fall away. I would like to think that I’ve left some good pieces of music. And I think as long as time lasts, people will be doing music all kinds of different ways.”
Parton also hinted that she’s already been thinking about various business deals as far as her publishing goes and promises that there are enough songs “to go on forever with my music.”
“I’m one of those people that believe in being prepared … I am a lucky person because I’ve got hundreds, hundreds, even thousands of songs, and a big part of them haven’t even been recorded,” she says. “There’s enough stuff to go on forever with my music: to do compilation albums, to do, actually, new and original stuff. I am purposely trying to put songs down for that very purpose: to have a click track and my vocals, to where any arrangement can be done. So I think ahead.”
As far as what happens when she passes on, Parton relies on her faith for the answer. “I’m hoping to get on up there and do some more writing and singing and play one of those golden harps,” she says lightheartedly. “I’m gonna get in the angel band for sure … You don’t really know. You just hope and you have faith.”
Listen to Parton’s complete interview with Dolly Parton’s America below.