Dolly Parton uninterested in having her own AI hologram: ‘I don’t want to leave my soul on Earth’

Parton joked that ‘any intelligence’ she had and ‘everything’ about her was artificial

Isobel Lewis
Friday 30 June 2023 08:50 BST
Dolly Parton recreates 1978 Playboy cover at 75

Dolly Parton has said that she’s uninterested in becoming an artificial intelligence hologram because she doesn’t want to keep her soul “grounded” on earth.

The “Here You Come Again” singer is currently preparing to release her first rock’n’roll album Rockstar, which features collaborations with the likes of Elton John, Paul McCartney and Lizzo.

Speaking at a press conference, Parton was asked if she’d ever considered creating a show using a virtual version of herself, as done by Abba in their Abba: Voyage concert.

“I think I’ve left a great body of work behind,” she said. “I have to decide how much of that high-tech stuff I want to be involved [with] because I don’t want to leave my soul here on this earth.

“I think with some of this stuff I’ll be grounded here for ever… I’ll be around, we’ll find ways to keep me here.”

Parton also joked that “everything” about her, including “any intelligence” was artificial anyway.

Last year, Abba launched a purpose-built stadium in London featuring four 3D digital versions of the group’s younger selves singing and dancing to their hits.

Mick Jagger, 79, has previously said the virtual concert technology offers bands such as The Rolling Stones a “breakthrough” to secure their legacies.

Abba Voyage launched last year

Discussing her new album, Parton said that she had wanted Jagger to collaborate with her “so bad” as her husband Carl Dean “loves” him.

She added: “I wanted him to sing on ‘Satisfaction’ but he wanted something new and different, which I don’t blame him for that, so I wound up singing that with Pink and Brandi Carlile.

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“We kept looking for the right song and he was doing an album in LA, and he did some stuff in Nashville, and I kept missing him everywhere. I ran him around like a high-school girl.”

Parton also said that Dean referred to her previous cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven” as “Stairway To Hell” but seemed to enjoy her more recent covers of rock songs.

She said: “I chose songs he loved and some of my favourites… I made him sit down and listen to the whole [album].”

“So at the end, he said, ‘It’s really good’… To me, that was like somebody else jumping up and down saying, ‘That’s the best thing I’ve heard.’ So that made me feel good. I wanted to please him, to be honest more than anybody else.”

Parton also clarified that the album was inspired by her 2022 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

She initially resisted the honour, saying she would “respectfully bow out” of the process, before later saying she would try to “live up to the honour”.

“I didn’t want to take it because I didn’t think I had earned it,” she said. “That’s the main reason I went ahead [with rock music].”

Rockstar will be released on 17 November.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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