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Dolly Parton 'God called me' to make music

She told People magazine: "I've done so many things," Parton says. "And I see that I am in a position to help. People look at me like someone they've always known, like a mother or sister. If I say something good, people might listen."

"I've just felt like God was calling me into that," she adds. "I've always felt like my music was more my ministry than a job. I just feel that this day and time, we need more people that are in a position to help to try to do something, if they can, to brighten the world a little bit. That's what I'm hoping to do now."

Along with her for King & Country collaboration, Parton has also released two other faith-centric singles in the past several months, including 'There was Jesus' with Christian rock singer Zach Williams and 'Faith' with DJ duo Galantis. The latter, she says, "came to me out of the heavens."

"[Galantis] sent the song to see if I'd be interested, and I just loved it," she says. "So I did it. Now it's out and people are really responding to it. It's more of a dance song, as you know. But it's a very spiritual message. It's like God saying, 'Have a little faith in me.' So I was proud to be part of that whole thing."

"I felt really blessed because I had decided just in the last few months that I was going to try to do more faith-based things or at least more uplifting music," she continues. "Then right out of the blue came King and Country and their 'God Only Knows.' And then the Zach Williams song, 'There Was Jesus.' All three of those just came and I went, 'Well, that must be an answer.' I've got three faith-based songs out now, which I feel very good about. Whether you believe in God or not, we need to believe in something bigger and better than what's going on because we're not doing too hot. We need to try to do a little better."

Though Parton says she "grew up very spiritual," she quickly makes clear that she's not out there with the intention of "preaching religion."

"I'm not trying to tell anybody how to be," she says. "I just say who I am and how I am. If there's something you see in me that's got a light, then I like to think that's God's light — not my light. In my faith, it bothers me sometimes when I see people worshiping the stars and all that. I'm like, 'Oh Lord, don't ever let me go there.' That's why I want to ship that on up to God. I don't need nobody worshiping me. If I do shine and radiate, I'd like to think that is God's light and I'd like to pass that on. I want to direct people to Him, not me."

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