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Dolly Parton talks songwriting and staying humble: "The more I accomplish, the more humble I become"

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Ian Gavan/Getty ImagesThough Dolly Parton is a master of many crafts ranging from acting to music, she’ll always be a songwriter at heart.

In an expansive feature in The New York Times Style MagazineDolly opens up about her songwriting process, revealing that while songs have a way of naturally coming to mind, she’s constantly tweaking them until she feels they’re ready to share. 

“I’m always editing as I go, and I go over and over and over it, and I’ve got a thousand papers wadded up on the floor,” she explains, adding that she’s often “rewriting all the way to the mastering lab.” 

While Dolly’s songs have been revered across generations, her work was catapulted into the global spotlight with Whitney Houston‘s famous rendition of “I Will Always Love You.” “Any dummy could have written that,” Dolly says of the simple stanzas. 

The icon also offers insight into how she maintains humility as her star power continues to grow, using perseverance as a motivating factor. 

“I love having to rise to an occasion, and being able to do something that I hope might impress somebody. So I just pray about it, and I just reach out there and do it,” she says.  “It may not be great, but, I can write any kind of music, any style. The more I accomplish, the more humble I become, because I realize how [few] people are able to say that they’ve seen their dreams come true.”

By Cillea Houghton 
Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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