Luke Bryan Dishes on Dolly Parton’s Greatest Legacy: ‘No One Has Brought More Joy’

by Suzanne Halliburton

Songwriter to songwriter, Luke Bryan wants you to know Dolly Parton is pure, blissful joy.

BMI recently did a sit-down interview with Luke Bryan, the country star and American Idol judge, and six other songwriters. They wanted to know all about Parton and her impact on the craft of songwriting.

What is Parton’s legacy? But wait, how does anyone answer that in a sound bite when it comes to Dolly Parton, the singer/songwriter/actress/philanthropist/businesswoman?

Everyone loves Dolly Parton. She is almost so famous that she can go by just Dolly. Luke Bryan talked about her singing and diligent songwriting. He mentioned that she writes a song a day, which inspired him to do the same. Bryan credits Parton’s influence with helping him write his first No. 1 song. That was “Good Directions” by Billy Currington way back in 2006.

So Luke Bryan, What Is Dolly’s Legacy?

But what’s Parton’s legacy?

“I think Dolly’s legacy is joy,” Bryan said. “Nobody has brought more Joy in a lifetime than Dolly.”

Bryan clicked off some of Parton’s songs and movies, even her businesses.

Parton did them all to bring joy, by lifting folks, making them smile, healing their hearts and souls. How do you judge the impact of a No. 1 song? Parton has produced 25 of them on the country charts. She gave country music audiences 44 albums that ranked among the top 10. That’s a record for any artist. More than 100 of her songs hit the charts over the past four decades.

“She lit up movie screen,” Bryan said. “She lit up the radio.”

Luke Bryan continued, saying “she walks in the room, she lights up the room. She’s joy. She brings joy to children with Dollywood.” Bryan was referring to Parton’s 34-year-old amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

“She’s so inspirational, her happiness is so infectious. And, you can’t say the word Dolly without smiling.”

Just this holiday season, Parton released a Christmas album and two specials. She wrote a letter to Santa Claus. In it, she mentioned joy.

“Santa, please bring joy to those who have lost the ability to laugh and enjoy life because of this critical time,” Parton wrote. “And Santa, bring hope for a better and brighter tomorrow, hope for the poor and downtrodden, hope for those who have given up all hope.”

Parton heard Bryan’s compliments and responded, saying “Hey Luke, I love you, too.”

We agree with Bryan. Everyone smiles when they say Dolly. Joy and Dolly should be synonymous.

Check out the entire interview.