In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the release of her highly anticipated rock album, Rockstar, Parton detailed working with Kid Rock, and defended having him on the project.
While Rock has long been controversial, he most recently came under fire after shooting at a set of Bud Light beer cans after the brand rolled out a series with pride colors to celebrate LGBTQ+ individuals. Soon after he was pictured drinking Bud Light, appearing to then anger those who supported him taking literal shots at the brand.
"I did a song with Kid Rock on this album. Of course I did that before the controversy that he had, but somebody was talking to me the other day, 'How could you do this [song] with Kid?' I said, 'Hey, just because I love you don't mean I don't love Kid Rock. Just because I love Kid Rock don't mean I don't love you," Parton explained.
"I don't condemn or criticize," she added. "I just accept and love."
Parton takes that same approach when it comes to cancel culture, telling the outlet, "I think that's terrible."
She continued, "We all make mistakes. We don't all get caught at it. But also when somebody makes a mistake, it depends on who they are. That's what God is there for. Now, I happen to believe in God; I'm a faith-based person, so therefore I am able to see it like that. A lot of people don't but even still, everybody deserves a second chance."
Parton added, "You deserve to be innocent until you're proven guilty. Even when you're proven guilty, if God can forgive you, so can I. If God can forgive you, we all should forgive one another."
While Parton has been a proponent of the LGBTQ+ community, she tells the outlet that she stands by her song with Kid, and likely would've collabed with him -- controversy or not.
"Like I said, I had done that before, but I'd have probably still done it, because he is a gifted guy, and that song was about a bad boy," Parton admitted. "It was about a boy that was cheating and mistreating her. But like I say, I love everybody. I don't criticize, I don't condone nor condemn. I just accept them. But anyhow, just because I love you don't mean I don't love Kid Rock in that God way."
Elsewhere in the interview, Parton discussed her support for the LGBTQ+ community as it relates to a recent bill passed in her home state of Tennessee that allows for discrimination against trans people, adding, "I just want everybody to be treated good. I try not to get into the politics of everything. I try to get into the human element of it."
She continued, "I have some of everybody in my own immediate family and in my circle of employees. I've got transgender people. I've got gays. I’ve got lesbians. I've got drunks. I've got drug addicts -- all within my own family. I know and love them all, and I do not judge... If there’s something to be judged, that is God's business. But we are all God's children and how we are is who we are."
Parton's forty-ninth studio album, Rockstar, which features duets with Miley Cyrus, Linda Perry and more, drops November 17, 2023.