Singer-songwriter Dolly Parton is touring in support of her new album, “Better Day Now.” | Rick Diamond~Getty Images
Updated: January 7, 2013 7:47PM
Dolly Parton has always been a bit of a dreamer.
In her new book “Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You” (Putnam, $19.95), one of the best-selling recording artists of all time talks about how she went from living in a shack in Tennessee to superstardom. “As a little girl, I’d sing to all the chickens in my yard and pretend they were my biggest fans,” she muses.
Q. You’ve talk about growing up dirt poor. How do you dream big when you have so little in life?
A. I think that’s when you need to dream more — in times when life seems lacking. It’s so hard to dream at times like these when it seems like everything is turning to pot. But we need to keep hoping, dreaming and praying. I think we also need to pray for our leaders and stop all this bickering. Spread more love around. It’s contagious.
You write that during your high school graduation speech in Tennessee, you said that you were going to be a famous star … and everyone laughed you off the stage. How do you get over that kind of hurt?
A. At the time, I was so embarrassed, and my feelings were hurt when everyone laughed. But now I understand it more. People just aren’t used to you dreaming that big and being so positive about it. I had the audacity to say it! It was as natural for me to say I wanted to be a star as it was natural for another girl to say, “I want to graduate, get married and live in Tupelo.”
Q.Where do you get your surplus of positive energy?
A. I appreciate that I’ve had such a good life and a good family. I love my daddy’s people and my mama’s people. Both sides had a good sense of humor and relied on it when the times were hard. I also love my work and I’m grateful to have made a living at something I love to do. I also celebrate my good health daily. God has been so good to me. I always say, God can have the credit, but I’ll take the cash.
You’ve been married forever. What is the secret to a happy union?
A. Keep running around the country. Stay gone. It doesn’t hurt to go away once in awhile. It keeps it all kinda new. When I get home, it’s always good. We can’t wait to see each other — even after all of these years. Above all, we’re best friends and have a lot of laughs together.
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