This Friday, we’re talking about the deification of Dolly Parton, or, as we like to call her, Saint Dolly. Her new release Rockstar comes out today – a 30-track rock album that features duets with artists such as Paul McCartney, Sting, Elton John and Stevie Nicks on cover versions of their classic songs. The album feels a bit like a karaoke album, but we had a lot of fun listening to it – partially because Parton is so easy to love. So how did Parton become such a cultural icon? What does she represent? And why do we want a Saint Dolly? Lilah is joined by US media correspondent Anna Nicolaou and FT Magazine’s food and drink editor (and long-time Dollyhead) Harriet Fitch Little.


We love hearing from you. Lilah is on Instagram @lilahrap. You can email her at


Links (all FT links get you past the paywall):

Rockstar by Dolly Parton is available to stream now, on all music streaming platforms.

– Here’s the FT’s review of Rockstar, by our pop critic Ludo Hunter-Tilney:

– Harriet unpacks the history of Parton’s hit ‘9 to 5’ for the FT column Life of a Song:

– Anna is on X @annanicolaou, Harriet is on X at @HarrietFL and Instagram at @huffffle

More or less:

– Harriet recommends Jury Duty, available to stream free on Amazon Prime

– For great local-feeling restaurants in New York, Lilah has a hundred recommendations, but here are three: Claud, a wine bar in the East Village, Names in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, and (the classic) Frankie’s in Carroll Gardens

– Here’s the article Harriet mentioned, ‘The UK’s 19 cosiest winter restaurants – according to FT writers’:

– Anna hates grey wood floors


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Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco. Clips courtesy of Big Machine Records.

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