Country music icon Dolly Parton is well known for her award-winning albums, numerous films, and her family-friendly amusement park, Dollywood. She has also been recognized as a generous philanthropist, which dates back several decades.
Last year, Parton donated $1 million to help fund research for the Moderna vaccine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. This past October, Dollywood Foundation raised $700,000 for flood victims in areas of middle Tennessee.
And most recently, her Imagination Library project announced that it's donated more than 170 million books to children under five.
During a recent interview with People Magazine, Parton acknowledged how gratifying it is to give to those in need.
"I'm kind of addicted to the feeling of giving," she said. "Knowing that I'm doing something good for someone else. It makes my heart feel good to know that I can do something for somebody else."
However, she's reluctant to accept too much attention for her good deeds.
"I don't want to be worshiped, because there's a scripture in my Bible that talks about idol worship," Parton pointed out. "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."
The 75-year-old stays involved in all of her projects and describes herself as a fair boss.
"I'm a good boss, I think," Parton 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. 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."
And she isn't afraid of admitting, "To know what I don't know."
"I have all kinds of companies, like Dollywood. 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."
She continued, “In some cases, I'm not educated enough to do it. 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."
Parton was even named by People Magazine as one of 2021′s people of the year.
The singer went on to say that there's also a lot of "pressure" that comes with that honor, but she's happy to be able to set a "good example" for others.