Brené with Dolly Parton on
Songtelling, Empathy and Shining Our Lights
This episode is proof that dreams do come true! I get to talk to Dolly Parton about love, empathy, and the power of truth-telling. We talk about everything from her new book, Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics and songwriting, to the challenges of leading organizations and Burt Reynolds. It’s amazing to me how Dolly’s songwriting and storytelling seem to be driven by a deep calling to turn toward pain and heartbreak so she can shine a light for all of us to find our way.
Dolly Parton is the most honored and revered female country singer-songwriter of all time. Achieving 25 RIAA-certified gold, platinum, and multi-platinum awards, she has had 26 songs reach #1 on the Billboard country charts, a record for a female artist. And Dolly is the first Country artist to chart a top 20 Billboard single across 7 consecutive decades (60s; 70s; 80s; 90s; 00s; 10s; 20s). She has 44 career Top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and 110 career-charted singles over the past 40 years. She’s also garnered ten Grammy Awards and 49 nominations, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1999, Parton was inducted as a member of the coveted Country Music Hall of Fame.
Parton has donated over 147 million books to children around the world with her Imagination Library. Her children’s book, Coat of Many Colors, was dedicated to the Library of Congress to honor the Imagination Library’s 100 millionth book donation. From her “Coat of Many Colors” while working “9 to 5,” no dream is too big and no mountain too high for the country girl who turned the world into her stage.
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