Dolly Parton is beloved the world over for her iconic music, business ventures, and occasional luminous acting roles, but the Queen of Country admits she’s not comfortable being recognised for all those things.
The 75-year-old hitmaker was named today (Thursday, December 1) as one of the 2021 People of the Year for her recent philanthropic work but she remains incredibly modest about her many achievements, including her extensive charity work.
“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 told People Magazine.
“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.”
In this week’s issue, PEOPLE introduces its 2021 People of the Year — Dolly Parton, Sandra Oh, Simone Biles and our nation’s teachers — who have all led the way in their respective fields, helping make the world a little bit better every step of the way. https://t.co/gKz0fTjncf pic.twitter.com/cAFSgxVavZ
— People (@people) December 1, 2021
Dolly was adamant she doesn’t “want to be worshipped” for her celebrity status and shared her thoughts on the current culture of fame.
“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,” she said.
“But if I can set an example, then that’s great.”
The “9 to 5” hitmaker has increased her philanthropic ventures recently donating $1 million to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, for the Moderna vaccine research. Her Dollywood Foundation also raised $700,000 for flood victims and her Imagination Library project, established in 1995, has now donated over 100 million books to children under five.
‘I’m kind of addicted to the feeling of giving. Knowing that I’m doing something good for someone else,” she said.