Dolly Parton Reacts To Being Called A National Treasure: “I Don’t Want Anybody Worshiping Me”

“Because when people put you on a pedestal, it’s kind of scary,” she explained.

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Andrew Wendowski

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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Posted on November 10, 2023

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Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton may be one of the most beloved entertainers in America, but she’s not so sure how she feels about being looked at so highly in the eyes of some fans. Speaking with Newsweek, Parton was asked about the high regard she is often held in, and she admitted that she tries “not to think about it.”

Reacts To Being Called A “National Treasure”

“Because when people put you on a pedestal, it’s kind of scary,” she explained. “I’m no angel, but I’ve played one on TV.” (Parton actually has played an angel on multiple occasions, starring as one in the 1996 TV movie, Unlikely Angel, and her 2020 Netflix Christmas movie, Christmas on the Square.)

“I just try to do my best,” she added of not thinking too hard about her venerated status. “I don’t want anybody worshiping me [and] I don’t know where it comes from, but I think it’s because I’m older than the Washington Monument. People have grown up with me, they think of me almost like someone in the family, like I’m a favorite aunt.

“I’m honored because I used to think when I was younger, that if I ever made it big, I wondered how I would be remembered when I was old,” she continued. “Now I’m old and I can see how I’ve been remembered so far. I just hope I can keep it up.”

Dolly Parton "World On Fire" Single Art
Dolly Parton “World On Fire” Single Art

“I’m Honored And Flattered”

Writer H. Alan Scott brought up the fact that fans “make pilgrimages” to Parton’s Tennessee theme park, Dollywood, another sign of how much they “worship” the country music icon.

“I’m honored and flattered,” Parton responded. “God’s been good to me, the fans have been good to me. I’ve had a lot of wonderful help through the years and still do. But I’m the one who has to get out there and try to sell it, to be the creative force. I’ve been made to look good because of a whole lot of people’s great work, but I’ve tried to uphold my end of the bargain.”

Just one of the many reasons Parton is so beloved is her philanthropy work, having given to numerous causes over the years including helping to fund the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and starting her Imagination Library, which provides books to children in need.

“I keep my heart and my ears wide open, trying to see what the greatest needs are,” she explained of how she chooses causes to give to. “I think if you’re in a position to help, you should.”

Dolly Parton; Photo by Andrew Wendowski
Dolly Parton; Photo by Andrew Wendowski

“I’ve liked doing things with children and young people,” she shared. “I still invest in the research for infectious diseases in children. One [of] my little nieces had leukemia and they saved her through God’s will and the doctors at Vanderbilt, so now I have the Hannah Dennison Butterfly Garden over there and every year that’s where I donate.”

Parton added that she’s “going to always do something” but doesn’t typically “advertise what I’m doing unless it’s something that [is already public] like the Moderna vaccine. But I’ll be always trying to fill a need when I see it.”

New Album, Rockstar

Parton’s interview was promoting her upcoming rock album, Rockstar, which releases on November 17. The 30-song project features nine original songs and 21 covers, a number of which have already been released. Rockstar includes collaborations with some of the biggest names in rock and roll including Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Debbie Harry, Stevie Nicks, Melissa Etheridge, Sting, Pat Benatar, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Ann Wilson and more.

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Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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