Dolly Parton Offers Advice to Aspiring Singers: 'Never Sacrifice Your Morals'

Dolly Parton was just a young teen when she got started in the music business, fueled only by her desire to make music and perform in front of others. The 73-year-old knows a few things about how to both launch and sustain a successful career, but the secret to her success she insists is really quite simple.

"I think if you've got the talent and you've got the faith and you've got the willingness to get out there and do it, just do it," Parton shared with SiriusXM. "Don't listen to people. If you feel like that's a burning desire and you've got a gift, I just say develop that, motivate that, be willing to sacrifice if you have to, but never sacrifice your morals and your principals and your values."

Parton recently opened up about her early years, revealing that she developed a crush on Johnny Cash after performing at the Grand Ole Opry when she was just getting started in country music.

"I became a member 50 years ago," Parton revealed on Late Night with Seth Meyers. "That was my dream to be a member, but I've been actually doing the Opry for 60 years. I was on when I was 13. It was amazing, because my uncle Bill Owens used to take me back and forth to Nashville. That was when Johnny Cash was first on the scene.

"He was the sexiest thing I'd ever seen, I was 13 years old," she continued. "I was looking at him and I was feeling all these things that you feel. That's the first time I really understood what sex appeal really was. And I just really fell into a burning fire! But I loved him. He introduced me."

Parton still isn't done making music. The Country Music Hall of Fame member, who just earned a Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song, for her "God Only Knows" collaboration with For King & Country, plans to release more music in the future, this time about her faith.

"I felt really blessed because I had decided just in the last few months that I was going to try to do more faith-based things or at least more uplifting music," Parton told PEOPLE. "Then right out of the blue came For King & Country and their 'God Only Knows.' And then the Zach Williams song, 'There Was Jesus.' All three of those just came and I went, 'Well, that must be an answer.'


Photo Credit: Getty / Kevork Djansezian