Dolly Parton to receive CMA's Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award

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Dolly Parton will be bestowed with the highest honor at the Country Music Awards with the Lifetime Achievement Award, named after her good friend Willie Nelson. (KABC)

Singer-songwriter Dolly Parton has a lot to celebrate these days: a number one album, a top-selling concert tour and a new book.

Now, the Country Music Association is bestowing her with its highest honor: the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement award.

It was established to recognize an artist who has achieved prominence not only for his or her music, but also for philanthropic and humanitarian efforts.

"I've spent my whole life in this business, and I've achieved a lot of things," Parton said. "Anytime you get an award like that, that really just says you must've done it right and all your plans and your dreams worked out pretty good. So I'm real grateful for it."

Parton is also part of the all-star compilation song "Forever Country," which was released to honor the 50th annual CMA Awards.

The song debuted at No. 1 on Billboard's hot country songs chart. It features 30 top country artists singing a medley of three classic songs, including Parton's "I Will Always Love You." The dozens of performers were magically green-screened into a star-filled music video.

"When I did my part, I was just standing there singing to a camera," she said. "They said we're going to build all this stuff behind, have all these people in. It was amazing what they can do with technology!"

And somewhere in Dolly's spare time, she wrote a children's book based on her own story, "Coat of Many Colors." The proceeds will benefit a charity she founded.

"We've had it illustrated for children," Parton said. "It's going to eventually be in my Imagination Library. All the money from that goes to the Imagination Library where we give books to children from the time they're born until they start school, and so far we're heading toward 100 million books for children worldwide."

"Coat of Many Colors" will be available Oct. 18. Parton will receive her lifetime achievement award on the CMA's Wednesday, Nov. 2, on ABC.
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