Dolly Parton is releasing a new album on November 17th that will be a little different from her previous releases. Rockstar features both original songs and covers of rock classics, including 4 Non Blondes’ “What’s Up?” Parton explained in a statement that there were two big reasons why she wanted to cover the song: “First of all, I love Linda Perry. Secondly, I love this song by Linda.”
Parton also saw the song’s video as an opportunity to share a larger message with the world. She continued: “I love being part of this video to make people think about what is going on in this world today. Many thanks to the little children who helped with the video! If our children don’t make it, what then? Again I ask, “What’s wrong?” Enjoy.”
The music video that accompanies the song is very special. Filmed at Eakin Elementary School in Nashville, Tennessee, Parton is accompanied by Linda Perry herself, who plays guitar while Parton sings the tune on stage. As the two delve deeper into the song, the children stream into the theater as their audience.
Original 4 Non Blondes lead singer Perry was just as happy to have Parton cover her song as the country legend would be. In her own statement, Perry explained, “Your version of ‘What’s Up?’ is that good. Her rendition made me feel like it was her song. No wonder.”
The idea for “Rockstar” seems to go back to Parton’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. While she initially turned down the nomination, she eventually accepted and formed Rockstar with a who’s who of rock music as she sought to mix a little more rock into her country sound.
Parton has been drawing interest in “Rockstar” since May 2023, when she performed her single “World on Fire” at the Academy of Country Music Awards. “Rockstar” will also include covers of “Let It Be” with Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Queen’s “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions” and Heart’s “Magic Man.”