Dolly Parton Says She ‘Felt Like God Was Calling Me’ to Start Making Christian Music

After all these years, Dolly Parton is still achieving new dreams.

On Wednesday, it was revealed that the country legend, 73, has been nominated at the upcoming 2020 Grammy Awards for her recent work in the Christian music genre. Parton is up for best contemporary Christian music performance/song for her collaboration with for King & Country on the single, “God Only Knows,” as well as best song written for visual media for her track “Girl in the Movies” from the Dumplin’ soundtrack.

In this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, the star opens up about her decision to start making Christian music.

“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.”

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SOURCE: PEOPLE, Brianne Tracy