Dolly Parton: American Hustler

She's the most decorated female singer in the history of country music. And she has no plans of slowing down.

[caption id="attachment_171935" align="aligncenter" width="900"] Photos by Fran Strine[/caption] Dolly Parton is smiling. She’s sitting in her manager’s office, housed in a nondescript building just west of downtown Nashville, legs folded beneath her, hands clasped, displaying a near Zen-like confidence rivaled only by the preternatural warmth she exudes. She’s a couple of hours into a long day of interviews promoting Pure & Simple, her 43rd studio album, which was released in August of this year. Just half an hour earlier, she wrapped up a series of on-camera interviews with some of country music’s brightest young female stars, including Kelsea Ballerini, Cam, RaeLynn and Lauren Alaina. Each artist joined Parton on a soundstage fitted with an impressively detailed replica of a Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, their conversations taking place on the faux storefront’s front porch. These conversations could easily have been torch-passings, a pillar of country’s old guard offering her blessings to the genre’s most promising young talents. Instead, they read as heart-to-hearts that just happened to be caught on camera, Parton as interested in RaeLynn’s stories of breaking into the business as the 22-year-old singer-songwriter is in awe of the legend seated next to her. For Parton, there is no…

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