As she crosses the country on her Pure & Simple tour, Dolly Parton can sense the political turmoil.
“Everything is so crazy and chaotic out there right now. I do see the divide,” she tells People.
But as an icon of both country music and gay culture, as a global superstar who embraces her faith without excluding others – and, frankly, as the closest thing we’ve got to pure sunshine incarnate, Dolly might be the perfect bridge for that divide.
“I just try to make people feel a little better. Let them know that it’s going to be OK,” says Dolly of sharing her music with fans.
“I’m hoping that as soon as this is over that we can all settle down, no matter who is the president and try to act a little better and stop all this fighting and bickering amongst ourselves and try to mend our country. So when I go out there to perform, I hope to uplift mankind, glorify God and just have a big time myself.”
With her new album – also called Pure & Simple – out Friday, the singer hopes to spread the love even further.
“The album’s all about love,” Parton says. “True love, romantic love, friends with benefits love, cheatin’ love – there’s all kinds of love!”
One source of inspiration for her songwriting? Her husband Carl Dean.
“I’ve been married for 50 years this year – my husband and I renewed our vows this year – and so I thought this would be a good year to have a love album, love in many colors,” the singer says.
In addition to the title song, “a positive love song about two people being in love and it being almost divine in it’s purity and simplicity,” her tune “Forever Love” had special meaning for her relationship, she says.
“That’s the one we played when we got married again,” she says. “That’s the one that fit that really well. It will make a beautiful wedding song for other people too!”