Country music veteran Dolly Parton has never shy about from the Christian faith. Recently, she has partnered with Zach Williams and for King and Country to record Christian-themed duets. However, being 73 years-old, the country music crooner has been thinking about death, afterlife, and what happens to her legacy after her death. In the final episode of WNYC's hit podcast Dolly Parton's America, co-producer Jad Abumrad catches Parton in a spiritual, reflective mood and poses questions to her about faith, the afterlife, and planning for the eventual end.
With regards to going to heaven after her death, Parton is not sure of her eternal destination. Nevertheless, she hopes there's a vacancy for her beneath the pearly gates. "I believe that we're all part of that great divine plan, and I'm hoping to get on up there and do some more writing and singing," Dolly smiled. "Play with those golden harps and write some more songs and have my own mission, and walk them golden streets of glory and keep doing it forever and ever and ever."
However, she wants her music to live on beyond her passing. "I've got hundreds, hundreds, even thousands of songs - a big part of them have never even been recorded," Parton tells Abumrad, around 21:45 in the episode. "There's enough stuff to go on forever with my music, to do compilation albums, to do new and original stuff. I am purposely trying to put songs down for that very purpose, to have a click track and my vocals where any arrangement could be done."
Without really going into details, Parton says she'd like for producers and songwriters of the future to be able to take her vocal tracks and overlay them with whatever kind of song they're recording.
"Any producer anywhere in the world, when I'm gone, they could take my songs just the click track and my vocal and build a complete arrangement around that, any style. That will go on forever," she says.
While some might consider Dolly's plan somewhat morbid, she added that she doesn't want to leave things like Aretha Franklin or Prince by not being prepared.