Country Legend Dolly Parton Ends Stage Career Amid Dollywood Theme Park Closure

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A person with long blonde hair and a sparkly blue and white outfit standing in front of the Dollywood sign, channeling their inner Dolly Parton. They are smiling with their arms raised. The background includes colorful flowers and part of a building.

Credit: Inside the Magic

Dolly Parton is going on tour, after retiring from going on tour, whilst not appearing in person on the upcoming tour. If you are confused as to what is going on for the country superstar, we are about to break it down for you.

Close-up of Dolly Parton with bright blonde hair, wearing colorful makeup, speaking into a microphone. She has a focused expression.
Credit: Eva Rinaldi, Flickr

Country music legend Dolly Parton rose to fame in the 1960s with her captivating voice, endearing personality, and talent for songwriting. Her signature sound, a blend of country twang and pop sensibilities, resonated with audiences across genres. Hits like “Jolene,” “I Will Always Love You” (later covered by Whitney Houston), “9 to 5,” and “Coat of Many Colors” cemented her place in musical history.

Parton’s ambitions extended beyond the recording studio. In 1986, she leveraged her significant earnings to invest in a theme park near her hometown in Tennessee. The park, originally called Silver Dollar City, was rebranded as Dollywood, a celebration of Appalachian heritage and traditions. Dollywood has grown significantly since its inception, boasting over 50 world-class rides, captivating live shows, and award-winning dining options.

It remains a major tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors annually and solidifying Parton’s legacy as a savvy businesswoman and champion of her Smoky Mountain roots. Recently, the theme park shut down for the day on May 8 due to weather, thankfully, it is back up and running.

Guests ride Lightning Rod at Dollywood
Credit: Dollywood

In 2022, Dolly Parton hinted at retirement from extensive touring.

While not a complete shutdown, she expressed a desire to move away from the demands of major tours. Parton stated, “I do not think I will ever tour again, but I do know I’ll do special shows here and there, now and then.” Elaborating on her decision, she said, “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. I’ve done that my whole life, and it takes so much time and energy.” This suggests fans can still look forward to occasional performances from the country music legend, but the days of lengthy, full-scale tours may be behind her.

Additionally, country music legend Dolly Parton and her husband of 58 years, Carl Thomas Dean, have faced a significant health challenge.

Mr. Dean was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2017. Since then, Ms. Parton has scaled back her touring and public appearances to prioritize her time with him at their East Tennessee home.

Recent reports suggest Ms. Parton may be taking a more substantial hiatus from her career. Her commitment to family is unwavering, and she reportedly desires to cherish the time remaining with Mr. Dean. This decision comes after a long and illustrious career that solidified her status as a country music icon. Ms. Parton will reportedly limit public appearances and media interactions moving forward.

Dolly Parton
credit: Pipilongstockings, Flickr

Knowing this, and her previous plan to step away from touring, many thought that Parton’s days on stage were over.

Now, Variety is reporting, “fans will yet have an opportunity to go see her music performed in concert, with orchestral renditions and Parton participating via appearances on a big screen, as part of a “multimedia symphonic story-telling experience” that will hit the road in 2025.” The publication continued:

“”Dolly Parton’s Threads: My Songs in Symphony” was announced Tuesday by Parton and her co-producers on the project, Schirmer Theatrical and Sony Music Publishing. The tour’s first date will take place with the Nashville Symphony on March 20, 2025, with dates in other cities with local orchestras to follow.”

Dolly Parton is embarking on a unique new project titled “Dolly Parton’s Threads: My Songs in Symphony.” Described as “an innovative multimedia symphonic experience,” “Threads” will showcase Parton’s songs alongside the stories that inspired them. The program promises a visually stunning and musically rich journey through Parton’s life and music.

According to the project announcement, audiences can expect to see “Dolly on screen, leading audiences in a visual-musical journey of her songs, her life, and her stories.” The orchestras will be “accompanied by guest vocalists and musicians” and will perform “new and innovative orchestrations” of Parton’s signature songs, arranged by David Hamilton.

Dolly Parton Dollywood
Credit: Dollywood

Parton herself expressed her enthusiasm for the project in a statement: “I’m just so excited to share my songs and the stories behind them in this beautiful new way,” she said. “‘Threads: My Songs in Symphony’ is like a journey through the heartstrings of my life. I hope we can take it far and wide to symphony orchestras everywhere.”

Interestingly enough, she is also hosting another experience for fans that is about her, without needing her there, at Dollywood.

Dollywood Parks & Resorts will soon unveil The Dolly Parton Experience, a brand-new attraction opening its doors on May 24th, 2024.

This expansive interactive museum, replacing the former Adventures in Imagination area that remained unchanged since 2002, celebrates Dolly Parton’s remarkable life and career.

Dollywood Sign
Credit: Dollywood

Spanning three times the size of its predecessor, the Chasing Rainbows Museum, The Dolly Parton Experience offers guests an immersive journey through three distinct exhibits:

  • Songteller: This section chronicles Parton’s rise to stardom, showcasing the stories behind her most beloved songs and accomplishments. Visitors will gain a deeper understanding of the inspirations that fueled her creative fire.
  • Behind The Seams: Dedicated to Parton’s legendary fashion sense, this exhibit features a curated collection of her iconic outfits. Fans can get a glimpse into the creative process behind her unforgettable looks, from dazzling gowns to signature wigs.
  • Precious Memories: Housed within the DreamSong Theater, this exhibit explores the importance of faith and family in Parton’s life. Here, visitors will gain insights into her personal values and the people who have shaped her journey.

It seems that Parton is looking for multiple ways to continue to perform without actually having to be on stage at this point of her life.

Would you see this multimedia production?

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