Dolly Parton just released her album Pure & Simple on Friday (August 19), which contains ten new songs for fans to enjoy. Over the course of her career, Parton has penned over 3,000 songs, and is regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
Even though she’s written so many songs throughout her life, Parton never seems to struggle to find new ideas. But as she told BBC, she’s scared that she’ll accidentally end up drawing inspiration from another artist’s work.
The issue of plagiarism has been a big one in the music industry lately. One case that generated a lot of media attention was when legendary rock band Led Zeppelin was accused of using part of another song by the band Spirit as the basis for their iconic hit, “Stairway to Heaven. “A jury later ruled that the songs were not similar enough to indicate that any copyright infringement had taken place.
Parton knows all too well what it’s like to be accused of taking another artist’s work. In 1985 she was accused of copying Neil and Jan Golberg’s “Money World” for her smash hit, “9 to 5,” but the jury threw out the claim.
Ever since then, Parton has always been scared that she’ll accidentally duplicate part of another artist’s work without even knowing it.
“I don’t believe that any of the people who get sued intentionally set out to do it,” she said. “I always worry about it so much when I write. You don’t set out to try and steal anything, but it can happen.”
Parton says she feels that in some cases, songwriters end up copying the work of others without even thinking about it. She says this is because the songwriter already has all of these other songs tucked in their subconscious, and they can’t remember exactly where the words or the tunes come from.
“If you write all the time, you’re going to collect those things and not know it,” she said. “I’m always horrified of that. If something sounds familiar, I think, ‘Oh my goodness, what is that?’ Then I’ll track it down and, in my case, it’s usually just one of my own songs!”
There’s no mistaking Parton’s music, because she’s a one-of-a-kind artist and songwriter. Listen to one of her newest songs, “Outside Your Door,” in the clip below.
What do you think of Parton’s comments about plagiarism in the music business? Is she right?
Receive daily updates with the best country music videos, news, and more!