Dolly Parton's career has spanned more than half a century; likewise, her fans span several generations. The singer says she doesn't have a secret to her longevity and success, though, other than the experience that comes with time.

"I’m older than music. I have been around. I made my first album 50 years ago," Parton quips to The Boot. "I think about how long I’ve been in the business, and that I’m still here, and that I still seem to be important, and that makes me feel good ...

"A lot of people relate to my upbringing; they love that rags to riches story, and they can relate to me because of my family and my faith, and the fact that I’ve been around," she continues, mulling over the potential reasons for her success. "I think they see me like a relative, like an aunt or an older sister or a grandma or Mother Goose ... I think they feel like they know me because I’ve been around so long."

Parton's popularity with a younger generation of artists has led to some special collaborations in recent months, too: In 2017, Parton appeard on her goddaughter Miley Cyrus' song "Rainbowland" and on Kesha's song "Old Flames (Can't Hold a Candle to You)."

"It touches me that I’ve been able to work with all these girls," Parton admits. "I actually had a chance to sing with Katy Perry on her new album. She sent a song, and it was hard for me to sing ... So had I been able to do it in that key, I would have also been on her record, too. I would love to sing with her sometime."

Clearly, Parton is staying busy. In addition to her musical endeavors, she's involved in her Dollywood theme park and her Imagination Library, and is always exploring other opportunities. There's still plenty Parton wants to accomplish, she says.

"I’m working on a cosmetic and wig line as we speak, and some clothes as well," the country icon reveals. "But I also want to do more children’s things ... What a wonderful way to grow older, to do some children’s specials and that sort of thing -- aybe do a little concert, tour around to auditoriums. Kids and parents and grandparents would come to the show -- aybe have puppets and fun things onstage. Wouldn’t it be fun?"

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