Country star Dolly Parton revealed that her brother, Randy, has died at 67 after a lengthy battle with cancer and expressed the belief that he's "safe with God" and “shining in heaven now.”
“My brother Randy has lost his battle with cancer. The family and I are grieving his loss but we know he is in a better place than we are at this time. We are a family of faith and we believe that he is safe with God and that he is joined by members of the family that have gone on before and have welcomed him with joy and open arms,” Parton wrote on Facebook Thursday morning.
The “Jolene” singer, who recently celebrated her 75th birthday, remembered her younger brother as a “great singer, writer, and entertainer. “
“He sang, played guitar and bass in my band for many years. He headed his own show at Dollywood since it opened in 1986. He’s had several chart records of his own, but his duet with me on ‘Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You’ will always be a highlight in my own career,” she wrote.
Parton shared that "You Are My Christmas," the duet the siblings sang on her 2020 Christmas album, was actually his final song “and he shined on it just like he’s shining in heaven now.”
“He is survived by his wife Deb, his daughter Heidi, son Sabyn, grandsons Huston and Trent,” she concluded. “We will always love him and he will always be in our hearts.”
Randy Parton was the eighth of 12 children born to Robert and Avie Lee Parton and the second of Dolly’s siblings to die in recent years. Floyd Parton died in December of 2018 at age 61.
The Hall of Famer frequently discusses her impoverished upbringing in Tennessee’s Smoky Mountains and her family’s dedication both to their faith and to one another.
“We grew up in the church and my grandpa was a Pentecostal preacher,” Parton previously told The Christian Post. “So healing and praying and being anointed and all that stuff, that was nothing new to us, ‘cause we survived because of our faith in God to get us through and all that.”
Parton also shared with CP how her faith sustains her through times of trial and difficulty.
“I live on spiritual energy, creative and spiritual energy, because I do go a lot,” Parton said. “I work hard. I work really, really hard. But I love my work. It's like, only when you go through family problems or heartaches [that] you actually have to lean on God for even more. But I really feel like I have a calling. I always felt I had a mission. Don't know what all it is, but I feel like God had told me early in a feeling that I was supposed to go until He told me to stop.”
“He ain't said nothing yet about quitting,” she continued. “So I ain't said nothing about retiring yet. But I just know that I will go until I can't go anymore, ‘cause I do believe that I can give something to this world. Until God says stop, I’ll keep going.”