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Exclusive Interview: Dolly Parton

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The most celebrated female in country music history, Dolly Parton, received yet another accolade this year for RIAA gold, platinum, and multi-platinum career sales of more than 100 million albums worldwide. During Dolly’s press event at the historic Glastonbury Music Festival this summer, she was awarded a special plaque which commemorated this spectacular feat. After the presentation Dolly hit the Pyramid stage in front of over 100,000 music loving fans for an unforgettable performance.

I had the chance to ask Dolly a couple of questions – I definitely wanted to congratulate her on selling over 100 million albums and find out of that kind of success changed her as a songwriter over the years. We all know the digital age has hurt album sales so I wanted to find out from an established artist like Dolly if illegal downloading is a big concern and what advice she has for new artists that still dream of earning a platinum album.

Congratulations for receiving your plaque for 100,000,000 album sales. That award ultimately represents the success of your songwriting. How have you evolved as an artist and more specifically as a songwriter?

Well, first off, over the years I have evolved mostly as a person. I have laughed, I have loved, I have cried and I have changed. Just like everybody else. Every life experience that I have faced is reflected in the music that I write and the stories I tell. As I get older, I naturally have more history to write about. I hope that the years have made me a better writer. I know that I still love it just as much today as I did when I was a little girl. Of all of the things I have been blessed with in my life, singing, acting, and writing – writing is my favorite.

The music industry has changed drastically over the past several years. Album sales are way down and music is available illegally for free. Is this something that concerns you and what advice can you give new artists who still dream of earning a platinum album?

Yes, it concerns me. I believe everyone wants to be paid for the work they do. That’s why they call it the music business. Everything is different now with the internet. As an artist you have to keep up with the times and adjust the best you can. In my day a million selling record was a big deal. But a million followers on Twitter is also a big deal. I can’t say that it’s good or bad, it’s just different. Times are changing and you have to be able to change with it.