Dolly Parton Reflects On Her Massive Success: ‘God Has Always Blessed Me’

Dolly Parton has built a business empire that extends far beyond her music career, but she isn’t taking the credit for all she has accomplished. The 77-year-old says her massive successes, including her Dollywood theme park, books, movies, philanthropy, her just-announced What Would Dolly Do? radio show and more, are the result of her strong faith as much as her own talents and tenacity.

“I’ve been grateful for every good thing ever happened,” Parton tells The Guardian. “God has always blessed me, surrounded me with good people. I pray that every day God will bring all the right things, all the right people, into my life.”

If there was a secret to Parton’s success, it has much more to do with the lessons she learned early in life, growing up poor in East Tennessee, than any business acumen she might have gained along the way.

“I’ve always been true to myself,” Parton acknowledges. “That was what my mama always used to say: to thine own self be true. I put a lot of stock in that. Everything I do, whether it’s my personality, how I conduct myself and business, or whatever, if I do it my way, according to what I understand and believe, there’s a strength in that. You can think, ‘I can stand by this, I can live by this.’”

Parton made a name for herself as one of the greatest female entrepreneurs, at least of this generation, an accomplishment that she says happened, at least in part, because she never felt the need to have children.

“I did not want that for myself,” explains the Country Music Hall of Fame member. “My mom and my aunts – I grew up with women knowing how to be good mothers, but that was just not what I felt God had in mind for me. Because somebody’s got to entertain those people, to write songs about them.

“I can write a song as if I had a house full of kids,.” she continues. “I can write a song as if I’ve got a cheating husband, even though I never did. But I know what it’s like; I’ve seen it, been around it. There’s no thing in this world that’s foreign to me, that I don’t get or understand.”

In addition to her music, and global empire, Parton is also known for what she doesn’t say. With a career that has spanned more than 55 years, the superstar has successfully achieved global fame, while refusing to take part on any divisive topics, including politics, religion and more.

“This is amazing to me, how people look to me. That’s a big responsibility. There ain’t nobody that good. I’m not all that. I make a joke – I’m not even all there,” Parton says with a laugh. “I try to just be a decent human being, try to use love as my great tool and weapon. I try to leave my heart, my eyes, my ears open, and my mouth closed, when I know it’s not the right thing to be doing.”

Parton’s  Rockstar album will be out on November 16. Find all of her music at

Read ‘Dolly Parton: 11 Things to Know About the Country Music Queen’ here.