Skip to main content

7 Talented Musicians That Would’ve Rocked a Feature on Dolly Parton’s Debut Rock Album

FRISCO, TEXAS - MAY 09: Dolly Parton attends the Dolly! All Access Pop-Up Store Preview & Press Conference at The Star in Frisco on May 09, 2023 in Frisco, Texas. (Photo by Sam Hodde/Getty Images for ABA)

Did ya hear?! Dolly Parton, one of the only valid examples of Americana to ever exist (and a sweetie to boot), is releasing a new album! Not only that, but it will be her first foray into rock ‘n roll, after establishing a legendary career as a country star. How cool is that?

Titled “World of Fire,” the album will release on November 17 this year, and it’ll be chock full of all kinds of guest stars. From the remaining two Beatles to Stevie Nicks and even Lizzo, Dolly seems determined to give us the sort of rock album that does it all and then some. And why not! At this point in her career, I say the queen oughta do whatever the hell she wants, because we know damn well she’ll do it with a flourish and a wink.

That being said, we couldn’t help but add some other artists we wish we could have seen on this list, especially the ones that aren’t as well known! So, here are some of our picks, from artists who already have a leg to stand on to artists you should clue into, all of whom Dolly will hopefully reach Dolly’s ears.

Patti Smith

I’m sure the two already know each other to some degree, and yeah, Patti isn’t exactly what I’d call the sort of artist who would willingly engage with “mainstream” rock. But still. Can you imagine the power behind this duo? Patti’s “piss n shit” attitude juxtaposed with Dolly’s unabashedly femme finesse would blow the top off any major stadium.

Tank & The Bangas

After winning NPR’s Tiny Desk concert in 2017, Tank & The Bangas became a solid part of my entire heart, and I think they’d be able to round out Dolly’s sound in a way that’d be incredibly fun and transcendent. They also work with a variety of genres, but mostly still within the realm of R&B. And your mileage may vary, but me, personally? Every time I’ve seen someone blend R&B with rock, it’s been nothing short of “WOW!”

Brittany Howard

You’ve probably heard of Alabama Shakes, a blues rock band from its namesake. If anything, you’ve likely heard their songs, at least, play in multiple prominent shows (Silicon Valley and Fleabag come to mind). This is because they’re really good—in large part thanks to their leading songstress, Brittany Howard. Listen to this video and just imagine her singing alongside Dolly Parton. Ooh. Goosebumps!

Big Thief

Now, if Dolly wanted a track that was a bit more stripped-down, I think Big Thief would be a really interesting, inspired choice. Featuring a strong connection between rock, country, and indie-folk, Big Thief has sad bangers, mad bangers, and rad bangers. Their lyrical talents are pretty remarkable, too, enough so that they won this year’s Best Alternative Music Album Grammy.


It’s him! Mr. Guy! They’d honestly be such an obvious duo, having so many similarities in style and fanbase, that I’m surprised she didn’t collaborate with him on this new album. Plus, the man just dropped a new album of his own, so he’d be a good PR choice. Come on, Dolly! There’s still time!

Ethel Cain

Admittedly, I’m still learning more about Ethel Cain, but I’m loving everything I’m learning so far. I was introduced to her by a new friend and was surprised to see she’s already got a massive following, but after hearing her music, that surprise quickly went away. Cain is incredibly talented, and with her thematic fascination with Americana (especially in a religious sense), I think she and Dolly would be able to create something really beautiful and memorable together.

Megan Thee Stallion

Well, if Dolly’s already including a beautiful hip-hop baddie like Lizzo, then Megan Thee Stallion seems like an obvious choice. Both Megan and Dolly are bad bitches who own their industries. Both don’t bend. Both are talented beyond compare. The only downside to them collaborating would be the sonic destruction of any studio they recorded in, but honestly, it’d be worth it.

(featured image: Sam Hodde/Getty Images for ABA)

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Madeline (she/her) is a staff writer with a focus on AANHPI and mixed-race representation. She enjoys covering a wide variety of topics, but her primary beats are music and gaming. Her journey into digital media began in college, primarily regarding audio: in 2018, she started producing her own music, which helped her secure a radio show and co-produce a local history podcast through 2019 and 2020. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz summa cum laude, her focus shifted to digital writing, where she's happy to say her History degree has certainly come in handy! When she's not working, she enjoys taking long walks, playing the guitar, and writing her own little stories (which may or may not ever see the light of day).