Dolly Parton has been putting more and more of her focus into Christian music recently, and in a new interview, she explains that it's something she's felt a strong urge to do.

"I’ve just felt like God was calling me into that,” the country legend tells People magazine. “I’ve always felt like my music was more my ministry than a job. I just feel that this day and time, we need more people that are in a position to help to try to do something, if they can, to brighten the world a little bit. That’s what I’m hoping to do now."

Parton has released three different gospel-themed collaborations recently, working with For King & Country on their song "God Only Knows," Zach Williams on "There Was Jesus" and Swedish dance duo Galantis and Dutch rapper Mr. Probz on a remake of the 1987 song “Faith." Her collaboration with For King & Country is nominated for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song in the upcoming 2020 Grammy Awards, where her song "Girl in the Movies" is also nominated for Best Song Written for Visual Media. That song appears on the soundtrack to the Netflix movie, Dumplin'.

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Parton also performed a medley of all three of her recent faith-based songs during the 2019 CMA Awards on Nov. 13, giving one of the highlights of the show.

The iconic entertainer says she feels "really blessed" to have recorded all three songs, since she had been thinking about doing more faith-based projects for a while before those opportunities all suddenly arrived. She hopes that kind of uplifting work can help provide a light in difficult times.

"All three of those just came and I went, ‘Well, that must be an answer,’" she reflects. "I’ve got three faith-based songs out now, which I feel very good about. Whether you believe in God or not, we need to believe in something bigger and better than what’s going on because we’re not doing too hot. We need to try to do a little better.”

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