Every devoted Dolly Parton fan knows about the superstar’s strong faith. Faith is no casual practice to Parton. It is at the root of all she is and in all she does. From “God’s Coloring Book” to “Hello God”. And there is her more recent 2019 anthem of believing with Zach Williams, “There Was Jesus,” Dolly Parton never wavers in sharing her philosophy to “be a light, speak light (including singing, in this case), and do something that is a light” for someone else.
Dolly Parton grew up in her grandfather’s church and gained her sense of spiritual intuition from her mother, Avie Lee Owens. The mother of 12 felt God’s premonition and power in dreams and in daily life in the mountains of Sevier County, Tennessee.
Seeds of faith grow strong
“I grew up in the mountains, where God is your only hope,” Dolly Parton describes in a 2019 interview for her Netflix series, Heartstrings. Prayer, hard work, and the kindness of neighbors brought the Parton family and others through the tough times of every day and putting every meal on the table.
As a young girl, Dolly Parton had no problem asking God for shiny red shoes or other Christmas delights dreamed of from a catalog. The cultural icon has shoes of every hue to fill rooms and transport trailers for her stage shows. Faith certainly fulfilled those dreams and more for Dolly. Her philanthropic efforts have done more for lives and literacy across the globe than she ever dreamed. Much of Dolly Parton’s giving finds its way to those she calls “My People” to this day. Her life-saving gifts toward the Moderna vaccine make the whole world eligible for that loving designation.
In a Showbiz CheatSheat feature, Dolly Parton provides a peek into the subjects that stay on her prayer list, and the unparalleled artist hasn’t changed the priorities much over her 75 years. God not only serves as the tireless entertainer’s Source of strength but also keeps her daily decisions in perspective with what’s most important in life.
Peace is paramount for Dolly Parton
Virtually every honor the music industry grants have gone to Dolly Parton over the years. The Guinness Book of World Records enters Dolly Parton as the artist with a Top 20 Country hit across the 60s to the 2010s. Parton takes another plaque as the female artist with the most hits on the US Hot Country Songs chart, according to the record-keepers. The single Oscar win for “9 to 5” went to Dolly Parton’s infectious theme song.
Dolly Parton declares that her dedication to work and good timing have contributed to career successes, but the beloved storyteller-in-song insists that Jesus is the source of her staying power and inspiration. The struggling family always felt surrounded by God’s love, no matter the hardships. They held to the surety that “through God all things are possible.”
“I’ve carried that all the way through my life,” Dolly declares. She “gathered a lot of strength from that,” and always holds the sense of knowing who she is. “I just try to stay anchored within myself and my beliefs,” Parton relates. One request never moves from the top of her prayer list—peace.
Dolly prays for peace to prevail
Prayers flow from Dolly Parton for personal peace and peace for everyone and every situation. Dolly implores “if we could just be peaceful” and “try to work through things with a little more peace, a little more love, a little more harmony, a little more understanding,” the stellar artist knows the world could heal.
“I think we’ve become so divided ‘cause people just seem to love to hate,” the “I Still Believe” singer elaborated. She encouraged a simple solution. “We can’t save the world, but we can save the world we’re living in,” Dolly Parton insists. By doing something to help someone we interact with on a daily basis, ripples of caring and kindness create waves of change.
Fans are an engine of love for Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton frequently credits the millions of faithful Dolly fans who “make up for the ones that don’t” think so highly of the Country music queen. “I love the fans,” she declares, and she feels a divine connection in the “empowering, restoring kind of energy” that they reciprocate to her. Parton goes so far as to say she understands how entertainers are addicted to that feeling.
She thrives on the inner reward of “knowing that you can do something to change somebody’s life or make somebody happy, even if it’s just for an evening.” The majority of Dolly fans assure that very few entertainers emit the positivity, joy, and inspiration that Dolly Parton brings in a single performance.
Dolly plans to do what she does for years to come
Like every performing artist, Dolly Parton longs for the day when pandemic concern eases, and shows like the “old days” of a few years ago return. The “Coat of Many Colors” icon can’t see the stop to her calling anytime soon.
“As long as I feel good,” comes Parton’s answer regarding performing. For several years, Dolly speaks about her desire to go out singing one of her own songs on stage. She also has a “secret,” special song to reveal at her Dollywood resort in 2045.
“I’m never going to retire. I just want to do greater work,” Dolly Parton predicts. Dolly Parton doesn’t let the typical physical aches and pains get in her way. She worked out the details for her TV movie while dealing with kidney stones in 2015. Nothing stops the ageless dynamo from getting the job done or having fun. She set to reunite with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin on Grace and Frankie for a final season episode.
Dolly Parton always believes in the best in people, and that everything is possible with God. Her destiny is still in God’s hands, and as her mother taught, “I’m letting the spirit lead me,” she staunchly maintains.
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