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Dolly Parton on Why She Started Making Christian Music: ‘I’ve Just Felt Like God Was Calling Me’

Few entertainers in history have stayed as relevant (and widely beloved) as Dolly Parton throughout her many decades-long career. The country icon learned Wednesday that she was nominated for a Grammy award. She’s up for the best contemporary Christian music performance/song for her collaboration with the duo For King & Country on “God Only Knows,” as well as best song written for visual media for her Dumplin‘ soundtrack tune “Girl in the Movies.”

Why Christian music for Parton, and why now? “I’ve done so many things,” Parton told People in this week’s issue. “And I see that I am in a position to help. People look at me like someone they’ve always known, like a mother or sister. If I say something good, people might listen.”

She credits the move not just to her fans — but to god. “I’ve just felt like God was calling me into that,” adding, “I’ve always felt like my music was more my ministry than a job. I just feel that this day and time, we need more people that are in a position to help to try to do something, if they can, to brighten the world a little bit. That’s what I’m hoping to do now.”

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All glitter everything ✨💗

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She said fans are really responding to the new music — and she’s thrilled to be able to help motivate and entertain people, and also inspire their faith through music.

“I’ve got three faith-based songs out now, which I feel very good about,” she said. “Whether you believe in god or not, we need to believe in something bigger and better than what’s going on because we’re not doing too hot. We need to try to do a little better.”

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