Dolly Parton performed her first rock and roll single, “World On Fire,” on tonight’s (5/11) ACM Awards. Dressed in a giant skirt designed like a map of the earth, she began her song as the skirt was ripped off showing a stage full of dancers and flames shooting through the floor.
Parton released a statement about the new song earlier today: “This is a song I felt very inspired to write. I think it speaks about everything and to everyone in this day and time. I hope it is something that will touch you and maybe touch enough people to want to make a change for the better.”
The song’s chorus includes the lyrics, “Liar, liar the world’s on fire / Whatcha gonna do when it all burns down / Fire, fire burning higher / Still got time to turn it all around.”
Dolly told GMA before releasing the song, “It’s really kind of about the times and how we can do a little better if we try to heal the divide and get along a little better. And so it’s really got a great message to it, but it’s also good and solid, kind of like a rock anthem.”
Parton announced the album release date and track listing to her much-anticipated rock album, Rock Star, earlier this week. She began the album project after getting nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2022, telling Billboard, “This may have been just a God-wink for me to go ahead and do that.” She added, “If I’m gonna be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I’m gonna have to do something to earn it.”
The album, which will be released on November 17, 2023, features a who’s who of rock and roll royalty, including a version of “Let It Be” featuring both surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. It also features the late Lynyrd Skynyrd guitarist Gary Rossington, who died in March, on a version of “Freebird.” She sings with Sting, Kid Rock, Joan Jett, and Elton John, just to name a few, and the project features a total of 30 songs.