What do you think of when you hear the name Dolly Parton? If the phrases “music legend,” “country heroine,” and “the most honored female country performer of all time” come to mind, you would be correct. How about eight-time Grammy Award-winning singing and songwriting icon? Scene-stealing actress? Bedazzled jumpsuit aficionado? One who has her own theme park?
Now, after releasing more than 40 studio albums throughout her decades-long career, you can add Queen of Children’s Music to the list.
In September, Dolly Parton released her first children’s album, I Believe in You, available here. Released on Dolly Records, I Believe in You features 14 songs — all written and performed by the musical goddess herself, of course — that aim to inspire, uplift, and relate to children. It’s only right that Dolly appears as a sparkling fairy godmother-butterfly hybrid on the album cover.
The mere sound of her music is already an angelic gift on its own, but proceeds from I Believe in You will also benefit Imagination Library. In 1995, Dolly founded Imagination Library — an organization that gifts books to children in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Belize, and Canada — as a way to honor her father, who was never afforded the opportunity to learn to read or write. Each month, Imagination Library sends more than one million books to children enrolled in the program, helping them to embrace reading, improve in school, and expand their dreams. How perfectly Dolly that her first children’s album supports such a righteous cause.
In exclusive videos for HelloGiggles, Dolly discusses the story behind two of her favorite songs off the album, “You Can Do It” and “You Gotta Be.”
It may be directed towards children, but in the only motivational speech you’ll need to hear for the rest of your days, Dolly explains that “…you’ve got to put some effort forth, but there’s nothing you can’t do if you really work hard at it and believe in it and just keep at it.”
Following a live a cappella snippet of “You Gotta Be,” Dolly explains, “You can’t just let things pass you by. Just brace yourself, pay attention…and be ready for anything.”
If the children — and everybody else on the planet — listen to Dolly Parton, our future will certainly be bright.