The legendary singer has helped members of her family come out as gay.

Dolly Parton has discussed helping LGBT members of her family come out, despite initially struggling to understand the concept of homosexuality.

“In my early days we did not know (what gay was),” Parton told PrideSource.

“It didn’t take me long to know that people were different and that was always fine with me.

“I was different too, and I embraced and accepted them and I knew them. I knew them well,” she added.

“Later on, I did find out I have many gays and lesbians in my own family. We accept them, we embrace them.”

The music icon – who recently expressed her love for fellow hitmaker Adele – says she thinks it is important that the LGBT community are not made to feel “separate” or “different” from the rest of society.

“Oh, there are some in the mountains who still don’t know quite what to make of it or how they should feel about it, but they’re ours and they’re who they are and we know they’re wonderful and they’re like us.

“We love the fact that they are who they are and we nurture that,” she said.

“We don’t try to make them feel separate or different. We embrace it.”

“All these dreams and creative ideas that I have. There is no way that I would ever retire.”

The singer earlier this year claimed that she has a large gay following because she also “fought for the right to be herself”.

Last month she laughed off lesbian rumours as she renewed her wedding vows.