Kenny Rogers' next album pairs him up with an old friend. The country-pop icon has announced that he'll duet with Dolly Parton on the new project.

"Dolly and I have had great success," he says, "It's been a long time since we've done something together, so it should have some commercial viability."

Rogers, who has been in music for 50 years, says there is a freedom that comes with being around that long. The three-time Grammy winner says he is now able to record the songs that he wants to, without answering to anyone else.

"I think I have less pressure on me to be successful because I've been successful, he tells the Schenectady Daily Gazette newspaper. "I can tend to do more things that represent me and my thought process. At the same time, if you can do that and combine it with the commercial, it's a home run."

Rogers is doing just that with his new album, which is being produced by music industry heavyweight Tony Brown, whose credits include Reba McEntire, George Strait and Vince Gill. One of the songs on the upcoming album is a great example of the kind of songs he loves to record -- story songs that have a message. 'I'm Still Here' is a song that follows the story of a man from the birth of his daughter through his contracting Alzheimer's disease.

"Those kinds of songs touch me because of the reality to them," he told ABC Australia, continuing, "Who knows, that could be me, and Justin and Jordon [his four-year-old twin boys] maybe holding my hands and driving me around on a skateboard someday."

Rogers says his career still brings him joy after all these years. "I have a lot of other passions besides music, but music is what I am and everything else is what I do," he says. The singer will do a series of U.S. dates in February before heading to Ireland in March for the beginning of a 20-plus city tour in Europe.