Dolly Parton on When She’ll Retire

Dolly Parton has been singing songs and writing music for as long as she can remember. If she had it her way, she’d never stop. When asked how long she’s going to continue performing, here’s what the backwoods Barbie had to say.

A close-up of Dolly Parton in a hot pink shirt, smiling.
Dolly Parton | Nathan Congleton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Dolly Parton’s age

In 2021, Parton turned 75 years old. She was born on Jan. 19, 1946 in Locust Ridge, Tennessee. She told her Twitter followers that her birthday wish this year was for everybody to be a little kinder to each other.

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“This year my birthday wish is a call for kindness,” she wrote. “We can’t just hope for a brighter day, we have to work for a brighter day. Love too often gets buried in a world of hurt and fear. So today, January 19th, let’s get to unearthing love.”

When will Dolly Parton retire?

Parton is still very much putting on shows. The pandemic permitting, she plans on touring worldwide this year in celebration of her 75th birthday, as a part of “Dolly Fest.”

“Expect ‘Dolly Fest’ to go global in 15 stadiums, which we have on hold right now,” United Talent Agency’s Neil Warnock told Music Week magazine. “And it will be very Dolly.”

So when will Parton hang up her cowgirl boots and enjoy a well-earned retirement? According to her, never, hopefully.

“As long as I feel good,” she told USA Today when asked how long she’ll perform for. “I had a little problem [in 2015] … got stumped up with kidney stones, but it didn’t slow me down. I was even working on the phone every day getting that TV movie together, even when I was in the hospital for a week or so. I’m amazed, at this point, of all the interest in my life. I’m never going to retire. I just want to do greater work. As mom would say, I’m letting the spirit lead me.”

The Queen of Country says her fans keep her energized

Parton’s devoted fan base keeps her hungry for the stage. She says the energy they give off is restorative and keeps her coming back for more.

“I love the fans,” she said. “I love that energy. It just really is restoring. You know when you’re first in love, how it energizes you? I get that from the fans. That’s a great empowering, restoring kind of energy. I think entertainers are addicted to that feeling. It’s … just knowing that you can do something to change somebody’s life or make somebody happy, even if it’s just for an evening.”