We all know and love Dolly Parton for her incredible music, her iconic style, and her funny quips — but Dolly is so much more than all of that.

As the founder of the nonprofit Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, she’s responsible for 1 million children receiving free books in the mail every month, playing a huge role in early childhood development.

Through her career, she has continually shown up as an advocate (and icon) for LGBTQ+ rights. On top of that, she helped fund (and publicly support) the Moderna vaccine and keeps showing up to support communities after natural disasters. And all of that is somehow barely scratching the surface on Dolly’s philanthropy.

Somehow, through all of this, she has maintained an incredibly high approval rating

Dolly Parton / Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress, Music Division

We curated some of Dolly’s best quotes that exude her sense of hope, grace, generosity, and love for all people:

Famous Inspirational Dolly Parton Quotes:

“If you see someone without a smile today, give 'em yours.”
— Dolly Parton, in a 2019 tweet

​​“We can't just hope for a brighter day, we have to work for a brighter day. Love too often gets buried in a world of hurt and fear. And we have to work to dig it out so we can share it with our family, our friends, and our neighbors.”
— Dolly Parton, on her 75th birthday

Centerfold Poster from The Grab Bag Edition of the Goodnewspaper / Illustration by Grace Owen for the Goodnewspaper

“If you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain.”
― Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton Quote Wallpaper: “If you want the rainbow, you have to put up with the rain.”

“If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.”
— Dolly Parton, in the 1997 book The Most Important Thing I Know (This quote is often incorrectly attributed to John Quincy Adams)

Dolly Parton Quote Wallpaper: If your actions create a legacy that inspires others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, you are an excellent leader.

Related: The Best Quotes About Good News

“People always say, ‘But you always look so happy.’ Well that’s Botox! Nobody’s happy all the time. But I work hard at it.”
— Dolly Parton, in her book Dream More

“If I’m remembered 100 years from now, I hope it will not be for looks, but for books.”
— Dolly Parton, about her work for her nonprofit, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library

Dolly Parton Quote Wallpaper: If I’m remembered 100 years from now, I hope it will not be for looks, but for books.

Related: The Best Quotes From Activists About Activism


Dolly Parton Sayings About Love and Life:

“You'll never do a whole lot unless you're brave enough to try.”
― Dolly Parton

“Figure out who you are. Then do it on purpose.”
— Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton Quote Wallpaper: Figure out who you are. Then do it on purpose.

Related: The Best Quotes About Hope and Optimism

“And I wish you joy and happiness / But above all of this, I wish you love.”
— Dolly Parton, in I Will Always Love You

“We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails.”
— Dolly Parton

“Storms make trees take deeper roots.”
— Dolly Parton

“I make a point to appreciate all the little things in my life. I go out and smell the air after a good, hard rain. These small actions help remind me that there are so many great, glorious pieces of good in the world.”
— Dolly Parton, in her book Dream More

Dolly Parton Quote Wallpaper: I make a point to appreciate all the little things in my life. I go out and smell the air after a good, hard rain. These small actions help remind me that there are so many great, glorious pieces of good in the world.

“Dream more, learn more, care more, and be more.”
— Dolly Parton

“You just try to be nice to everybody, ’cause you know everybody’s got a dream.”
— Dolly Parton


Dolly Parton Quotes on Human Rights:

“I've had to go against all kinds of people through the years just to be myself. I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are, and to love who they love.”
— Dolly Parton, to Billboard in 2014

Dolly Parton Quote Wallpaper: I've had to go against all kinds of people through the years just to be myself. I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are, and to love who they love.

Related: 12 LGBTQ+ Good News Stories From 2021

“I was the first woman to burn my bra — it took the fire department four days to put it out.”
— Dolly Parton

“I still believe that women should get paid equal and should be treated with respect. I’m all about that. I don’t get out and have to preach it or march in the streets, I write about it.”
— Dolly Parton, in an ABC interview with Robin Roberts

Related: More Women Are Becoming Entrepreneurs Than Ever

“So I say a silent prayer for creatures great and small. Peace on Earth, good will to men is the greatest gift of all.”
— Dolly Parton, in her song The Greatest Gift Of All


Dolly Parton Quotes From Her Podcast With Brené Brown:

Brené Brown described it as “a dream come true” to have Dolly on her podcast, Unlocking Us. In their conversation, they talked about Dolly’s book, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics and her long career. 

And of course, beautiful quotes came out of the episode:

“I don’t often lose my temper, but I often have to use it.”
— Dolly Parton

“You don't even have to believe in anything to be good to people. You should just know you should be a good human being.”
— Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton Quote Wallpaper: You don't even have to believe in anything to be good to people. You should just know you should be a good human being.

“I know how to stand my ground. I know how to speak up. I know how to stand sturdy. But that doesn't mean I've hardened my heart.”
— Dolly Parton

“Love is the answer to all of it.”
— Dolly Parton

“I never think of myself as a star. I think of myself as a working woman. And this is the job I love. And I'm grateful that I get to make a good living at what I love to do.”
— Dolly Parton