International Icon. America's Sweetheart. Hometown Hero. 1

Q & A with Country Music Legend Dolly Parton

With world-class talent and down-home charm, Dolly Parton has earned her place alongside the most recognizable entertainers on earth. Recently the country music icon sat down with Franklin Lifestyle to discuss holiday traditions, life at home and the children she serves through her Imagination Library.

FRANKLIN LIFESTYLE: Many artists have covered your hits over the years. Who and what song would you consider a favorite?

DOLLY PARTON: As a songwriter, it is always flattering when anybody records my songs but I was blown away the most by Whitney Houston and her version of “I Will Always Love You.” Mostly because I didn’t know that song could be so big and powerful. To this day, I Will Always Love Whitney Houston.

FL: Is there a current artist that you would consider to be inspiring?

DP: I’m inspired by everyone that works in the arts period. I’m like a sponge, I absorb a little from everyone I come in contact with.

FL: What is your favorite song right now in your playlist?

DP: You know what, I’m old school. I don’t have a playlist.

FL: Having played nearly everywhere in the world, do you have a favorite venue in which to perform?

DP: I would have to say the mother church of country music, the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, just because of what it means to me personally and the history of it.

FL: How do you relax after being on the road?

DP: I don’t know. If I ever get off the road I will let you know!

FL: What is your favorite movie lately?

DP: I don’t really watch TV or movies. I’m a big reader. Give me a comfy chair and a good book and I’m happy.

FL: What is the funniest thing that happened to you lately?

DP: My husband Carl is a practical joker and he always finds new ways to make me laugh.

FL: Where is your favorite place in Middle Tennessee to go?

DP: Any fast food drive thru.

FL: What advice would you give to our local entrepreneurs starting out?

DP: Two things: One, surround yourself with people smarter than you.

Two, always be true to yourself.

FL: How do you celebrate Thanksgiving?

DP: I go back to that drive-thru you were asking about, ha-ha. But really, I spend mine like most everyone else, with way too much food, surrounded by my family and friends

FL: How do you stay so young at heart?

DP: I don’t know that I am young at heart but I have a happy heart and I work every day to stay positive. I think having a good outlook and an honest heart helps to bring out youthfulness and joy.

FL: What motivates you, given that you have already achieved and done so much in music, film and business?

DP: You know, I don’t spend very much time looking back. I spend all my energies working towards my future. I still believe my best and most productive work is ahead of me.

FL: Who is your current inspiration?

DP: Currently children are my biggest inspiration. I wake up every day trying to look at life with child-like eyes. It’s a great way to gain a fresh perspective and that really inspires me.

FL: What is your favorite song right now in your playlist?

DP: I am always listening to whatever my husband Carl is listening to because he has great taste in music.

FL: Where is your favorite spot in Nashville?

DP: My lake house. It’s a great place for me to unwind

FL: What is your favorite holiday, and why?

DP: Christmas, because I love watching my little nieces and nephews get so excited over presents and cookie night with me, their Gigi.

FL: What is your favorite Halloween costume?

DP: I usually just go as me, it’s the one day a year I can go anywhere.

FL: What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?

DP: All of it, I’ve said it before; I’m a big eater.


Dolly Parton’s

Imagination Library

A Book Gifting Organization

Mailing Over 1 Million Free

Books Each Month

95 Million (And Counting)

Total Books Mailed

Over 1 Million Free Books

Mailed Each Month

More Than 1600 Local

Champions On Board

Available In 4 Countries

Around The World

Dream More

Learn More

Care More

Be More


Penguin Random House is the exclusive book publisher for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library