"Every time I, think about you, I get chills along my spine." With these words, country superstar Dolly Parton opens her brand new album, Pure & Simple, a collection of love songs out Aug. 19 that marks her first release since 2014's Blue Smoke. And with eight tour stops in Canadian cities as big as Toronto and as small as Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, the sassy star's fans will soon have their own set of chills as Dolly hasn't embarked on a tour this large in 25 years.
Her new release takes fans back to Dolly's simple roots, having grown up with 11 siblings and few frills in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, but on one of the album's sweetest songs she fondly remembers being a teenager, skinny-dipping and falling in love.
Dolly Parton explores "all colours" of love on her new album. Photo: © Getty Images
Like many songs on the new release, the Dollywood founder also draws from the experiences of those around her. Of "I'm Sixteen," Dolly tells Hello! that, "I wrote the song based on an older relationship. One of my sisters who’s in her early sixties had given up on love and then all of a sudden she finds the true love of her life and acts like she’s sixteen, and they’re so cute."
"I work, I have a good attitude and I have a lot of young little nieces and nephews," the GRAMMY winner says when explaining how she stays young. "I think it helps to surround yourself with a lot of young children so you pick up on their little energies and their thoughts. It kind of keeps you in tune."
Love was a fitting theme for the Country Music Hall of Famer as this year marked a major milestone with husband Carl Dean. "My husband and I were married fifty years on Memorial Day this year, so I know a lot about love and all of those feelings, and so this seemed to be a good year to write a whole album just about love songs of all colours." And there are plenty of colours to play with, all of which Dolly worked to get on the album, from cheating love to everlasting love and the kind she cheekily refers to as "head over high heels."
During a June press conference in Toronto, the petite star with the big blond hair joked that she owes looking so good at 70 to "good makeup, good lighting, good doctors." But she also told reporters the secret to her half-century relationship. "We’re not in the same business, and that helps a lot," she explained. "I always make jokes and say it doesn’t hurt that I’ve only been home about 40 of those 50 years, so we’re not in each others' faces all the time. But we just have a lot in common and get along well."