"I was gonna be rich no matter how much it cost / And I was gonna win no matter how much I lost / Grindstones and rhinestones have made up my life / But I've shined like a diamond through sacrifice ..."

Those are the poignant words of Dolly Parton, from a verse on her 2011 single "The Sacrifice." The country icon describes the tune as one of the most personal on her album from the same year, Better Day, inspired by not only her own ambitions but also the words of wisdom she wanted to share with fans.

Read on to hear the story behind "The Sacrifice," a song written by Parton alone, the country icon's own words.

Certainly, early on in my career, I wanted to have things: I wanted to travel and I wanted to be loved. I wanted to be onstage, and I wanted to have money ... coming from someone who knew what it was like to be without it.

I just thought, "If I am gonna get to where I really want to go, I'm going to have to be willing to make any sacrifice it takes." I certainly paid my dues ... I seem like a happy person, and I am -- I have a happy heart -- but I've been through heartache; I've known my sorrows.

I paid my major prices for my career, but I wouldn't trade it for nothing. Yes, it's been worth the sacrifice ...

Whatever your dreams are, whether you want to be a doctor or a manager or whatever you want to do, you've got to know that, in order to get to where you want to go, you've gotta keep the momentum going. You can't just work at it a day or two; you've gotta be steady with it, and you have to make sacrifices ...

I haven't missed out on anything, because I do as I please. People say, "Oh, you can't even go to a restaurant." I say, "I most certainly can!" I know the time of day I can go when it won't be as crowded.

Still, I always know there are going to be a certain amount of people who will come up and say hello or will want an autograph. I'm not one of those artists where they just go into a panic about that. I would probably feel worse if nobody recognized me or paid me any attention, since everything I've done is for attention!

This story was originally written by Beville Dunkerley, and revised by Angela Stefano.

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