Dolly Parton People of the Year
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Dolly Parton Among 'People' Magazine's 'People of the Year' Honorees: 'I Keep Dreaming Myself Into a Corner'

The list of reasons to adore Dolly Parton has grown in recent years to include everything from an Emmy award-winning production deal with Netflix to her crucial donation to Vanderbilt University Medical Center's COVID-19 research which led to the Moderna vaccine.

More recently, her Dollywood Foundation raised $700,000 for flood victims in Middle Tennessee, while her Imagination Library project expanded into Kentucky.

In an interview lauding Parton as one of People magazine's People of the Year, the country music great promises that she's not done dreaming huge dreams as a singer, songwriter, author, actor or philanthropist.

"I keep dreaming myself into a corner," Parton told People. "But I can't stop now. I've learned you can't just say, 'Oh, my dream's come true and I'm walking out of here.' No, you've got to show you're grateful and show that you're not going to just leave it all in the hands of other people."

Parton punctuated this statement with the usual dose of self-depreciating humor: "So, I'm going to be right here, doing what I'm doing, 'til I fall over dead."

She even poked fun at the very idea of being People of the Year material.

"I have to honestly tell you, I was a little bit skeptical of being put on the cover as one of the People of the Year," Parton said. "Because that's a lot of pressure. But, yeah, it's like, I am not all that. I'm glad that I stand for enough stuff to where I'm not the worst person in the world."

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Besides, Parton's success comes in part from her knowing when to delegate tasks.

"In some cases, I'm not educated enough to do it," Parton explained. "In some cases, I'm not smart enough to do it, but I'm smart enough to know what I want and what I don't want. I'm smart enough to know what I can and can't do, and so that's how you have to look at it."

Dreams coming true for Parton in 2022 will include a novel co-authored with James Patterson and an album of songs inspired by the book.

People also honored Killing Eve star Sandra Oh, who made headlines this year for her work in the series The Chair, which she also executive produced, as well as her powerful speech at a "Stop Asian Hate" demonstration. Olympic gymnast Simone Biles was also honored by People for becoming one of the world's most visible mental health advocates. America's teachers also take center stage, as represented by National Teacher of the Year Juliana Urtubey and award finalists John Arthur, Alejandro Diasgranados and Maureen Stover.