If you're a country fan, get psyched. Dolly Parton has a new album coming out this fall. But sorry; you're probably not the target audience this time. Unless you're 7.
The talent (and energy — girl is over 70) of the country queen really knows no bounds. Between her TV specials and quiet activism and Lifetime Achievement Award, Parton has somehow also found time to record her very first kids' album, which drops this fall. On Tuesday, the country music icon announced at a Nashville press conference that the record — titled I Believe in You — will be released digitally on Sept. 29 and hits stores across the globe on Oct. 13.
If you haven't been keeping tabs on Parton (where have you been?), allow us to fill you in. Parton founded her children's charity, The Imagination Library, back in 1995. The organization, which promotes literacy and aims to encourage a lifelong love of reading — mails more than a million books monthly to children all around the world. Parton, a longtime philanthropist and under-the-radar supporter of numerous causes, reportedly founded the organization because she was moved as a child by her father's painful inability to read.
So that's a million quality, age-appropriate books those kids get to read each month, courtesy of Parton. More than 1,100,000 children are currently registered with the charity — and Parton couldn't be happier, especially since all the proceeds from her new album will go straight to buying more books and reaching more kids.
“My first album was released 50 years ago, and it’s been an amazing 50 years since then,” Parton said at the press conference. “I am very excited that now I’m coming out with my first children’s album in all of those 50 years. I’m proudest of all that all of the proceeds from this CD will go to the Imagination Library. It’s been 20 years since the Imagination Library was launched. We’ve seen 100 million books get into the hands of children, and hopefully there will be many more.”
So what's on the album? Plenty of Dolly goodness served up in 14 tracks she wrote herself. It even includes a redo of Parton's hit song "Coat of Many Colors" from 1971. If you're a Parton fan, you'll remember that this song also inspired the aforementioned TV special, as well as a kid's book; I Believe In You also includes a bonus track in which Parton reads that book aloud. (Dolly Parton music plus story time? Bring this thing on your next family road trip for sure.)
"It just seemed like it was the time [to make this record]," Parton said according to Rolling Stone. "Since I'm getting so old, I'm going back into my second childhood."
Rolling Stone also reported that Parton performed some of her new tunes — "Brave Little Soldier" as well as "Makin' Fun Ain't Funny," a song with an anti-bullying message — for a few dozen kids who were on hand at the press event.
Dolly, just when we thought we couldn't love you any more, well... there you go again.
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