Why Dolly Parton Was 'Skeptical' of Being Named One of People's 'People of the Year'

Dolly Parton is unquestionably a national treasure. But sometimes, even the Grammy-winning singer doubts just how much of an impact she’s had on the world. On top of her music and businesses, Parton is a philanthropist who’s donated time and money to countless causes over the years.

Dolly Parton’s businesses

In addition to her contributions to the music world, Parton is in charge of several businesses, such as her Dollywood theme park in Tennessee. But despite having an empire beyond music, Parton is aware that she doesn’t know it all, and has to surround herself with the right people for success.

In 2021, People magazine named her one of their People of the Year. Parton said in her interview that she employs people she can learn from. “I have all kinds of companies, like Dollywood,” she said. “It was my idea to have Dollywood, to have a theme park, but I knew I didn’t know anything about running it, but I knew I would find people. So I always do that, though, with anything. I hire people. I see what I need and what I want, but I know I can’t do all that myself.”

“In some cases, I’m not educated enough to do it,” she added. “In some cases, I’m not smart enough to do it, but I’m smart enough to know what I want and what I don’t want. I’m smart enough to know what I can and can’t do, and so that’s how you have to look at it.”

Dolly Parton didn’t feel she deserved to be named one of People magazine’s ‘People of the Year’

In the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Parton helped by donating money to the research surrounding the Moderna vaccine. She said that for her, philanthropy is second nature.

“I’m kind of addicted to the feeling of giving,” the “9 to 5” singer said. “Knowing that I’m doing something good for someone else.”

But despite that, she’s uncomfortable with being recognized for her contributions. “I have to honestly tell you, I was a little bit skeptical of being put on the cover as one of the People of the Year,” she admitted. “Because that’s a lot of pressure. But, yeah, it’s like, I am not all that. I’m glad that I stand for enough stuff to where I’m not the worst person in the world.”

“But I don’t want to be worshiped,” she continued. “Because there’s a scripture in my Bible that talks about idol worship. And I see that happening all the time with movie stars and these celebrities. People literally worship them more than they worship God. And I just — I cringe at it sometimes.”

“But if I can set an example, then that’s great.”

Dolly Parton believes she’s a good boss

Parton described her managerial style as a friendly but firm boss. “I’m a good boss, I think,” she said. “I try to rule with love and compassion. But also, there’s a fine line that says, ‘She’s not a pushover.’” 

“I’m a fair and honest person,” she went on. “I like to be as friendly as I can and love the people that work with me and I like to have them love me.”

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