Rob Halford on Dolly Parton: "She's a walking beacon of love and happiness and joy"

Dolly Parton and Rob Halford singing together
(Image credit: Jeff Kravitz)

Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford, who appeared onstage with Dolly Parton at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame ceremony late last year, has spoken of his admiration for the country star, and admitted that he may have overstepped the mark in getting close to her during the all-star version of Jolene

Speaking with Mark Strigl from SiriusXM's Ozzy's Boneyard show, Halford said. "I did the gay hustle and [thought], 'I've gotta get close to Dolly. I may have overstepped my mark, but I was just gushing. I was a fanboy. I was kind of cringey at the end."

Halford went on to detail his admiration for Parton, saying, "She's just this walking beacon of love and happiness and joy that she spreads. And the talent that she has; when you think about the thousands and thousands of songs that she's written.

"She's the epitome of staying the course and believing in yourself and believing the people around you and getting through these difficulties and challenges and rising above them and becoming a success all over again. She was always a success, but in the way that she can kind of fade in and out of things in rock and roll. She stuck to it. And wow. She's roaring right now. She's got this new rock album coming out, which we're all thrilled to know about." 

Parton's much-anticipated rock album is due to arrive this year, and will feature covers of songs by Led Zeppelin, the Rolling StonesPrince and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Entitled Rock Star, it'll feature guest vocals from Pink, Brandi Carlile, Paul McCartney, Stevie Nicks, John Fogerty, Steve Perry, Steven Tyler and Cher amongst others.

No release date has been announced. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.