'I Ask God to Lead Me & Guide Me': Dolly Parton Talks Faith, New Children's Album on Studio 5
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Dolly Parton has been making hits for all ages over the past five decades, but her latest album "I Believe in You" is being made especially for her youngest fans.
"I've racked up all these songs through the years, even writing songs for my nieces, nephews and just for kids in general, and so it just seemed to be the right time," said Parton in a recent interview with Studio 5.
Proceeds from the new album benefit Parton's literacy program, "The Imagination Library". "When I found out I was just about to give away our one-hundred-millionth book I thought well, why not just go ahead and do this children's album?"
The music on the country singer's album comes from a personal place.
"I had a little niece, Hannah Dennison, who had chemo when she was four and she had a real hard time until she was about nine years old. So, I used to write all these songs for her and put them on cassette tape for her to listen to."
"Chemo Hero" is one of the songs Parton wrote for Dennison who survived childhood cancer and is now in her late twenties and cancer-free.
She performed the tune alongside her niece at Vanderbilt Children's Hospital in Nashville – the same place Dennison fought cancer as a child. Parton also donated $1 million at the event.
"I Believe in You" comes after the success of Parton's two television movies, "The Coat of Many Colors" and "Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love."
Parton says her Christian faith inspires her work.
"My faith has always been so important to me. I grew up in a very religious family, my grandpa was a preacher, I'm not religious as much as I am spiritual," she said.
She added, "I pray every day. I pray about everything. I ask God to lead me and guide me in all the decisions I make – and to bring all the good and right people into my life and to let me do something to glorify God and uplift mankind."
At a young 71, Parton says she has no plans of slowing down. "I dreamed myself into a corner I have all these projects, all these dreams that have come true, so I have to be responsible for them. I'm not the kind of person that can just sit around and not work."
Studio 5 asked if any of Parton's future plans include a 9 to 5 sequel? She said, "I don't know if we'll ever do a sequel to "9 to 5" with Jane and Lily. We talked about it for many years, but I make jokes now that it would have to be called 'ninety-five'!"
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