Country singer Dolly Parton, known for songs such as "Jolene" and "I Will Always Love You," started her musical career in her grandfather's church, where he served as a minister.
Parton tells CBN News that her childhood memories are very vivid, and many of the things she learned from her family and church still impact her perspective and music to this day.
"I keep all that stuff very close to my heart. I grew up knowing that Jesus loves me. And I knew that through God all things were possible. I grew up with those things that we just heard all the time. My grandfather was a really good preacher," she recalls.
Parton admits that her grandfather used to scare her a bit, because he was known for hellfire and brimstone preaching. He was the reason why she came up with the song, "Daddy Was An Old Time Preacher Man."
"It was about him, about my grandpa. One of the lines is he preached hell so hot, you could feel the heat," she says.
Her other songs, such as the 1974 hit "I Will Always Love You," is also inspired by her relationship with God. "People say, 'Well, I am surprised that you talk about your faith,' and I say, 'Why not? That's who I am. That's what keeps me going,'" she says. "Any time I write something that is just a line that I know didn't come from me, I just sort of say, 'Hey, give me a high five, Lord. Give me a thumbs up.'"
Parton also credits God for introducing her to her husband of 50 years, Carl Dean. She says her husband is a "God-send" because he stood firmly by her side despite all the "crazy stuff" happening in her career. "But He knew he (Carl) was going to need somebody like me because Carl is pretty much a loner and he really doesn't want to be with anybody but me," she adds.