American singer Dolly Parton performs during her Tokyo concert on July 30, 1979.
Photo by AP

15 quotes from Dolly Parton that teach us everything about life

Updated

Dolly Parton, queen immortal of country music, turned 70 Tuesday.

With 45 Grammy nominations and more than 100 million albums sold, Parton’s come a long way since her childhood growing up in the foothills of East Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains.

A less well-known nickname for the singer is “Dolly Lama” – a title she gave herself after regularly fielding fans’ requests for advice. 

Parton’s no-nonsense wisdom has helped make her an LGBT icon, and she’s very publicly called out those who are intolerant of her gay fans, especially Christians. “I think gay couples should be allowed to marry,” Parton said in May 2014, before gay marriage was legal in all 50 states. “They should suffer just like us heterosexuals.”

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In honor of her birthday, here are 15 phrases to live by — as spoken from the mouth of the great Dolly Lama. They remind us of why we “will always love” Parton:

  1. “You never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try.”
  2. “I tried every diet in the book. I tried some that weren’t in the book. I tried eating the book. It tasted better than most of the diets.”
  3.  “If you see someone without a smile, give them yours.”
  4. “People say, ‘Oh, you just always seem so happy.’ Well, that’s the Botox.”
  5. “You’re just a step on the boss man’s ladder. But you got dreams he’ll never take away.”
  6. “I don’t kiss nobody’s butt.”
  7. “Don’t get so busy making a living that you forgot to make a life.”
  8.  “I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are and to love who they love.”
  9. “When someone shows me their true colors, I believe them.”
  10. “I’ll never harden my heart, but I’ve toughened the muscles around it.”
  11. “Storms make trees take deeper roots.”
  12. “The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain.”
  13. “If people want to pass judgment, they’re already sinning. The sin of judging is just as bad as any other sin they might say somebody else is committing. I try to love everybody.”
  14. “You need to really believe in what you’ve got to offer, what your talent is — and if you believe, that gives you strength.”
  15. “I wish you joy and happiness. But above all of this, I wish you love.”

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15 quotes from Dolly Parton that teach us everything about life

Updated