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With Dolly Parton, what you see is what you get.

There's not one Dolly onstage and another who cooks meals at home, freezes them and takes them on her tour bus. It's all the same Dolly.

"I'm pretty much the same," Parton said in a teleconference with reporters."I just kind of wear my heart on my sleeve and I just kind of say what's in my heart and what's on my mind.

"I've been at this so long that a lot of people just kind of grew up with me. And I feel more like a family member — like an aunt or older sister — or a friend."

She's been in the media spotlight for decades, and she's always been the same woman.

"People come to know me through the last 50-some years like that. I don't believe I have too many big secrets, or people would know 'em by now," Parton said with a laugh.

She's always unfailingly sweet and forthcoming in interviews. When a reporter thanked her for getting on the phone to answer questions, she replied with a laugh, "Well, thank you for havin' me! We're tryin' to promote these shows! You know I need that money!"

You'd never know she's worth an estimated half a billion dollars.

Parton has built a career as one of the queens of country music — an entertainment icon. At 70, she's embarked on her most ambitious American tour in a quarter of a century.

The septuagenarian is in the midst of playing 60 dates from June to December — a tour that includes a stop at the UCCU Events Center at Utah Valley University in Orem on Tuesday.

"It's called 'Pure & Simple' and it basically is that," Parton said. "It's just me and three guys onstage. They do a lot of wonderful harmonies with me. We just have a good time."

And they do it without "whatever they call it — the pyrotechnic stuff."

Dolly Parton is fireworks all by herself.

"It's basically kind of stripped down," she said. "But I felt that that would be a good way to do this particular tour because, through the years, people have seen me do all sorts of shows. But this one is the simplest one I've ever done."

"Pure & Simple" is also the title of her new album, scheduled for release Aug. 19 on Dolly Records.

"I was married 50 years this past year to my husband, Carl Dean, and I thought it would be a good time to do an album of love songs," Parton said. "But they're also pure in nature and pretty simple. A lot of them sound like some of the old records I used to record long ago that some of my true fans, I think, will really appreciate."

Some of the new material has joined her familiar hits on the playlist for the tour. But the performances also include "all the hits people expect me to do — '9 to 5,' 'I Will Always Love You,' 'Two Doors Down,' 'Here You Come Again,' 'Jolene.' "

"Of course, every time I put a tour together I try to come up with things I think will be entertaining," Parton said. "Try to refresh it and revamp it a little bit for the fans that have seen me through the years. We, of course, always do our big hits. And I do a segment about family. I try to involve some gospel music and some stories.

"And I try to be funny," she said with a laugh.

She's just plain ol' Dolly. Well, not so plain — but always down to earth.

"I try every day to leave something in this world that is a little better and a little brighter," Parton said. "I just see so much darkness in this world, I just want to be some sort of a light. I just want to do something that might lift the spirits of somebody."

She repeatedly expressed gratitude for her success and vowed to keep working at it.

"I've made all these dreams come true, and now I have to be responsible for it," she said. "So I have to think of myself as a workin' girl. You don't just get a dream come true and then just let it go, you've got to get out and work and decide how you can rework it and how many other areas you can branch out into.

"I just love what I do. I love to work. … And I've got new dreams every day."

And, by the way, yes, she does cook "for a week" before she goes on tour. She will freeze dinners and take them along on the bus, which is "stocked with everything I like. I mean, all my favorite pillows. All my favorite makeup. All my favorite foods. … I've always got to have a little taste of that Southern stuff, like chicken 'n' dumplings or pork roast or fried corn or whatever it is.

"I can't eat it all the time. I have to stay in those show clothes. But every now and then, when you're away from home, that kind of helps you not be so homesick if you can have a little taste of home."

Twitter: @ScottDPierce —

Dolly Parton in concert

The country superstar hits town on her "Pure & Simple" tour.

When • Tuesday, July 26, 7:30 p.m.

Where • Utah Valley University's UCCU Center, 800 W. University Parkway, Orem

Tickets • $75-$100 at the box office, all Smith's Tix locations and