Dolly Parton's First-Ever Children's Album Will Fund Free Children's Books

By Aaron Brophy 8/22/17 |

Dolly Parton — photo by Dustin Rabin
Country star Dolly Parton has recorded her first ever children's album and the proceeds from it will be used to encourage kids to read.

The 14 track I Believe In You album will be available digitally on Sept. 29 with a physical release set for Oct. 13. Proceeds from compact disc sales will go towards the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, a venture the country star started 20 years ago to give free books to children to help instill a love of reading in them.

I Believe In You marks the 50th anniversary of Parton's recording career, one which included such hit songs as "Jolene," "9 to 5," "Islands In The Stream" and "I Will Always Love You."

"My first album was released 50 years ago and it's been an amazing 50 years since then. I am very excited that now I'm coming out with my first children's album in all of those 50 years. I'm proudest of all that all of the proceeds from this CD will go to the Imagination Library," said Parton in a statement. "It's been 20 years since the Imagination Library was launched. We've seen 100 million books get into the hands of children and hopefully there will be many more."

Parton was inspired to create the Imagination Library in part because her father never knew how to read. She started the program in her hometown Sevierville, Tennessee, but has since expanded it to Canada, Great Britain and Australia. Each month, registered children up to Kindergarten age are sent an age-appropriate book free of charge. According to information on the Dolly Parton website, Imagination Library serves more than one million children every month.

This book-giving is a tremendous source of pride for Parton.

"My daddy just loved it when all the little kids would call me ‘The Book Lady," said Parton on the site. "That meant more to him than the fact that I had become a star and worked my butt off."

Doling out free books is far from Parton's only charitable pursuit. Using her Dollywood Foundation to support numerous causes, last year she helped raise more than $9 million USD ($11.31 million CAD) those displaced by a series of Tennessee wildfires. She's also supported charities like War ChildDogs Deserve Better and the Save The Music Foundation.

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