Dolly Parton doesn’t have to make do on a meager budget for her Thanksgiving spread this year, but the legendary singer-songwriter holds to the same attitude of gratitude instilled by her parents as the fourth of 12 children growing up in Sevier County, TN. In classic songs from her iconic catalog, Dolly Parton has chronicled her youth in the Smoky Mountains, paying homage to her parents and her community, always willing to give and be strong through times of need, no matter how lean their own situations were.

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It's a sure bet that her autobiographical 2016 TV movie, “Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love” will be spinning in home DVD players through coming weeks of Yuletide fare, but Dolly is excited about another December premiere. Her Netflix movie, “Dumplin,’” is about a girl after Dolly Parton's heart, one who idolizes her, despite not being the image that today’s media put forth of a potential star.

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Girl in the Movies” is one of the six new songs that Parton penned for the project.

In November 21 and November 20 features for People and “Today,” the 72-year-old still embodies an entire entertainment industry and hopes to send a message of affirmation and empowerment to aspiring young artists today. As for her own future, Dolly Parton doesn’t even have a concept of what it is to slow down or retire. She knows just how she wants her last breath to be spent.

Pressures persist

Most fans only conceptualize Dolly Parton as the diminutive 4’ 11” figure with mammoth talent, a voice for days, a tiny waist, and the perfect spots for all her sparkles. She put the record straight, saying that over her almost six decades as a professional, she has been pressured over pounds and the up-and-down battle with the scales.

Parton also broke the mold for female artists in the business world.

She has consistently been honest to say that she didn't mind playing the womanly angle at the conference table, so long as she left “with the cash.” That instinct was undoubtedly imparted by her father, Robert Lee. Dolly has deemed him as the smartest person she ever knew, always willing to do whatever it took for his family. Her international children's literacy initiative, Imagination Library, launched in tribute to him and put millions of books in the hands of preschool children worldwide.

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Mr. Parton never learned to read or write but his powerful influence in his daughter has made reading a reality across global homes.

Dolly Parton worries even more about young girls under the influence of social media now. She loves the message in “Dumplin’” that “you don't have to be physically beautiful” for gifts of talent and spirit to be appreciated. Danielle MacDonald portrays the protagonist in the story.

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Her character is inspired by Parton, while still feeling pressure from two sides. Jennifer Aniston plays her mother, who also was a former beauty queen. Dolly Parton declares that “We need to be accepting of ourselves in how we are,” and thinks the new project is a firm step in that direction.

No rocking chairs needed

Dolly Parton is already the most honored female artist in Country Music and will be honored as the 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year. Chris Stapleton will be paying lead honors to the lady who fronted the frontline assistance and real checks to her affected neighbors through her My People Fund after the 2017 wildfires in the Smoky Mountains.

That extension of gratitude is just one of the reasons why Dolly Parton has seemingly endless energy, and she's not short on humility either. She relates that “so many people have more talent than I do” who never get to fulfill dreams, and still she reiterates, “I am grateful that I am still here,” and she still has plenty planned to do on her plate.

She would love to visit the Holy Land (Her grandfather was a preacher.) and seems to never run dry of new lyrics and melodies. “I just hope I fall dead in the middle of a song, hopefully, one I wrote, right on stage,” Parton proclaims.

The star of song and screen is also adamant that if her husband of 52 years, Carl Dean, ever needed her care, she would “pull back” on the career that has consumed so much of her life, and do the same if needs arose for other members of her family.

“My husband loves my cooking,” declares Dolly, so the Parton Thanksgiving table is probably filled with the best of Southern cuisine, complete with biscuits, gravy, and desserts. The holidays are times to be at home and indulge in memories as much as in what is served, and everyone deserves a little splurge.

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