Skip to content

The Real Reason Dolly Parton Says She'll Never Tour Again

Don't worry, the country legend still has more in store for her fans.

Dolly Parton's days of hopping on the tour bus are over. In a new interview, Parton revealed that she is done with touring for good. But, fans shouldn't be too bereft over her announcement. While the 76-year-old singer won't be going on a full tour ever again, she will still perform shows here and there when the time is right.

As for why Parton will not be touring in the future, she has a good reason that has to do with her personal life. Read on to see what the iconic songwriter had to say.

READ THIS NEXT: Dolly Parton Just Posted a Rare Photo With Long-Time Husband Carl Dean.

Parton's last tour was in 2016.

Dolly Parton performing in Pittsburgh in 2016
Jack Fordyce / Shutterstock

The last time Parton went on tour was six years ago. The Pure & Simple Tour promoted her album of the same name. The singer played in 60 cities across the U.S. and Canada from June to December of 2016. According to her website, this was her largest tour of North America in over 25 years.

Prior to the Pure & Simple Tour, Parton had gone on a world tour in 2014.

She explained why she's hanging up her touring shoes.

Dolly Parton at the MovieGuide Awards in 2016
Kathy Hutchins /

In an Oct. 27 interview with Pollstar, Parton shared, "I do not think I will ever tour again, but I do know I'll do special shows here and there, now and then. Maybe do a long weekend of shows, or just a few shows at a festival. But I have no intention of going on a full-blown tour anymore."

She explained that the reason has to do with herself and her husband of 56 years, Carl Dean, getting older.

"I've done that my whole life, and it takes so much time and energy," she continued. "I like to stay a little closer to home with my husband. We're getting older now, and I don't want to be gone for four or five weeks at a time. Something could happen. I would not feel right about that, if I were gone and somebody needed me. Or I would feel bad if I had to leave a tour if somebody got sick at home and needed me and then I had to walk out on the fans."

Touring also takes up too much of her time.

Dolly Parton performing at the Newport Folk Festival in 2019
Carl Beust / Shutterstock

Parton also talked about how much work and time goes into planning a tour as a reason to put that aspect of career behind her.

"It takes months to actually plan a tour, as far as booking dates and all that," Parton said. "Then you've got to be gone for all that time, too. It's more involved than people have any idea. You really need a year, and certainly six months, to plan a great tour, just preparing to get ready to go hit the road. So you can't just go out and do a few shows, you really have to commit to doing enough shows to make all that time and effort pay off."

For more celebrity news delivered right to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

She warned fans two years ago that she'd be slowing down.

Dolly Parton at the premiere of "Dumplin'" in 2018
Kathy Hutchins /

In December 2020, Parton spoke to T Magazine about wanting to take more time off in the upcoming year.

"I'm sick of Dolly, ain't you?" she said (via The Independent). "With all the stuff coming out, it's like, if I hear one more product, one more story, one more thing about Dolly Parton… I think, 'Well, maybe I better hang it up for a while next year.'"

At the time, she said that she would still release music, even if she ever stopped touring. "[I can] do my a cappella album: From the Bedside With Dolly! Dolly's Deathbed Songs!" she joked. "That paints a picture, don't it?"

She's still working hard, however.

Dolly Parton and James Patterson at the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festival
Rick Kern/FilmMagic via Getty Images

In her Pollstar interview, Parton again explained that she'll still be working, even though she's retired from touring. In addition to looking out for special shows to play, she is working on an upcoming rock and roll album and a new TV Christmas special. She's also starring in a movie, Run, Rose, Run, based on the novel she published earlier this year with James Patterson.

"We're doing a movie with that, working with Reese Witherspoon, her company's producing it. I am going to be doing that," Parton said. "But if I find good roles, I'd like to still be in good movies here and there, now and then."

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
Filed Under