Dolly Parton: ‘I Do Not Think I Will Ever Tour Again’
Dolly Parton indicates that she has quietly retired from touring. The country music icon played just a handful of stages in 2022 and has nothing confirmed for 2023. During a recent interview, she said fans can expect a few special shows, "now and then."
"I do not think I will ever tour again," Parton tells Pollstar, explaining that at age 76, she doesn't want to spend the time and energy on the road for several consecutive weeks. "Something could happen. I would not feel right about that, if I were gone and somebody needed me."
Parton's husband's health has been a concern for the singer in the past. In 2015, she passed on the chance to join Katy Perry at the Super Bowl because he was not doing well. During this new interview, she admits that if she had to leave a tour to help care for someone sick at home, she'd feel bad for fans who were looking forward to see her.
"Maybe do a long weekend of shows, or just a few shows at a festival. But I have no intention of going on a full-blown tour anymore," Parton says.
A performance at the 2022 ACM Awards and a stop at SXSW in March are among the few shows Parton has played in 2022. The previous two years were similarly light, although the COVID-19 pandemic played a role in that. One has to stretch to 2016 and the Pure & Simple Tour to find Parton's last full-fledged tour. From June to December that year she played performing arts centers and small arenas across America.
It's unusual for an artist to step away from the road without a farewell tour. Toward the end of 2020, her manager Danny Nozzell indicated something was coming to celebrate her 75th birthday, "Expect Dolly Fest to go global in 15 stadiums, which we have on hold right now," he told Music Week. The trek never materialized.
Perhaps fans should have seen this coming. Earlier this year, Dollywood announced that fans could reserve her tour bus for a (minimum) two-night stay.