2023 ACM Awards host Dolly Parton closed out the show on Thursday night (May 11) by bringing her rock persona to Frisco, Texas, with a debut performance of “World on Fire.”
“Liar, liar/ The world’s on fire/ What you gonna do when it all burns down?/ Fire, fire/ Burning higher/ Still got time to turn it all around,” the Rock and Roll Hall of Famer chanted in the chorus of her politically driven single over a thumping beat, appearing onstage wearing a long, flowing dress that sprawled across the stage. The garment — which had a map of the world on it and was backlit, giving the impression of a world on fire — was removed as Parton performed the track dressed in a sleek black outfit, surrounded by dancers delivering passionate, fittingly blazing choreography.
“World on Fire” serves as the lead single for Parton’s long-awaited rock album, Rockstar, which is out on Nov. 17. The 30-track set has a slew of her fellow musical icons listed as collaborators, including Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, Lizzo, Sting, Chris Stapleton, Debbie Harry, Elton John, John Fogerty, Joan Jett, Steven Tyler, Peter Frampton and many more.
In addition to nine original songs, the album will also feature 21 covers of rock classics such as “Every Breath You Take,” “Baby, I Love Your Way,” “Heart of Glass,” “Purple Rain” and “We Are the Champions.”
“I’m so excited to finally present my first rock n’ roll album, Rockstar!” Parton previously said in a statement about the forthcoming album. “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. I hope everybody enjoys the album as much as I’ve enjoyed putting it together!”
The ACM Awards is produced by Dick Clark Productions. DCP is owned by Penske Media Eldridge, a Penske Media Corporation (PMC) subsidiary and joint venture between PMC and Eldridge. PMC is the parent company of Billboard.