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Dolly Parton's first-ever rock 'n' roll album addresses global issues: "I didn't think of that as political"

Dolly Parton debuts new rock album and book
Dolly Parton's first-ever rock 'n' roll album, "Rockstar," addresses global issues 05:45

At 77, country legend Dolly Parton isn't slowing down. Instead, she's revving up the tempo with her first-ever rock 'n' roll album, "Rockstar." 

She even teams up with rock royalty like Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr for heart-thumping covers and offers nine original tracks, addressing global issues in songs like "World on Fire."

"I didn't think of that as political as much as I was thinking of it as trying to save our asses," she told CBS News. 

"It was more about just all the things that's going on in the whole wide world. I thought, 'Why are people not thinking about what we're doing to each other and to this world, the only world we've got to live in?' So I just felt led to write something 'cause that's how I do express myself," said Parton.

Despite her pivot to rock 'n' roll, Parton's core message remains unchanged: "We should all love one another."

Known for her timeless music, acting roles and flamboyant style, Parton is also out with a new book, "Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones," which dives into the stories of her dresses, shoes and wigs. 

"I don't care about following fashion," she said.

"I've never been one to follow what other people are doing. I just had my own personality, my own thought of who I was, and how I wanted to look," said Parton.

It's not just her wardrobe that has kept fans intrigued; it's her unwavering confidence and authenticity. 

"I'm comfortable in my own skin, no matter how far I've stretched it," Parton said. "I don't know how to be anybody else. I don't wanna be anybody else."

There are some memorable outfits she holds close, including the ensemble she wore when she became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1969, along with her "coat of many colors." She said they signify more than just milestones — they're threads in the fabric of her colorful life.

"It's created a life of many colors for me," she said.

Parton, known for her big personality and music, said some people find her mysterious. 

"I tell everything I feel that the people need to know. And I'm honest in what I say," she said. "I just don't always tell everything."

As for what the future holds for the ever-evolving artist, Parton said she never knows what's next.

"I wake up with new dreams every day. I'm always dreaming. I'm always doing, and I hope to do that 'til the day I die, which I hope is a long time from now," Parton said.

An extended interview with Dolly Parton on "Person to Person" with CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor Norah O'Donnell will be available Thursday on the CBS News app

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