Dolly Parton Debuts Smoldering Rock Single, “World On Fire,” at the ACM Awards

Dolly Parton pulled double duty hosting and performing on Thursday night (May 11) at the Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards. Would you expect anything less from the country superstar?

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She not only spiced up the night, peppering in her charming Dolly-isms alongside her co-host Garth Brooks, but she also closed out the show with the lead single from her upcoming album, Rockstar, “World On Fire.”

Parton appeared under the spotlight in a billowy skirt the size of the stage. It was printed in black and white, brandishing a world map. The fabric was pulled away to reveal the star clad in all-black. She stood on a pedestal, flanked by a ghostly choir of backup dancers as flames licked up behind her. Against a stark, anthemic beat washed in a distant twang, Dolly re-introduced herself with a darkly-tinged rock debut.

Liar, liar, the world’s on fire, she sang, What you gonna do when it all burns down? / Fire, fire, burnin’ higher / Still got time to turn it all around.

“This is a song I felt very inspired to write,” she shared of the song when the special performance was first announced. “I think it speaks about everything and to everyone this day and time. I hope it is something that will touch you and maybe touch enough people to want to make a change for the better.”

Her upcoming 30-track release marks Parton’s first rock album, one she vowed to record at her induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The album is officially set to arrive on Nov. 17. It will be made available in various formats—a 4 LP collection, 2 CD set, and a digital release, and will also be available on all streaming platforms.

For the album, the icon recruited fellow stars past and present, collaborating with the likes of Lizzo, Elton John, Sheryl Crow, Mick Fleetwood, Emmylou Harris, Brandi Carlile, P!nk, Miley Cyrus, Chris Stapleton, Joan Jett, Stevie Nicks, Steve Perry, and plenty more.

“I am very honored and privileged to have worked with some of the greatest iconic singers and musicians of all time, and to be able to sing all the iconic songs throughout the album was a joy beyond measure,” the legend said in a statement.

Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images

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