02 Mar Dolly Parton ~ Country Music Queen
Dolly Parton ~ Country Music Queen
Dolly Rebecca Parton (born January 19, 1946) is an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and philanthropist, known primarily for her work in country music. After achieving success as a songwriter for others, Dolly Parton made her album debut in 1967, with her album Hello, I’m Dolly.
Parton’s music includes 25 Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)-certified gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards. She has had 25 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard country music charts, a record for a female artist (tied with Reba McEntire). She has 41 career top-10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career charted singles over the past 40 years. She has garnered nine Grammy Awards, two Academy Award nominations, ten Country Music Association Awards, seven Academy of Country Music Awards, three American Music Awards, and is one of only seven female artists to win the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award. Parton has received 47 Grammy nominations.
She is also one of the few to have received at least one nomination from the Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, Tony Awards, and Emmy Awards. As an actress, she has starred in films such as 9 to 5 (1980) and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), for which she earned Golden Globe nominations for Best Actress, as well as Rhinestone (1984), Steel Magnolias (1989), Straight Talk (1992) and Joyful Noise (2012).
Dolly Rebecca Parton was born in a one-room cabin on the banks of the Little Pigeon River in Pittman Center, Tennessee; a very small community located in Sevier County in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee. She is the fourth of twelve children.
Most of Parton’s cherished memories of youth happened while living in Locust Ridge, and it was also the place for which she was inspired to write the song, “My Tennessee Mountain Home” in the 1970s. Parton would buy back the Locust Ridge property in the 1980s.
A predominantly Pentecostal area, music played an important role in her early life. She was brought up in the Church of God (Cleveland, Tennessee), the church her grandfather, Jake Robert Owens, pastored. Her earliest public performances were in the church, beginning at age six. At seven, she started playing a homemade guitar. When she was eight years old, her uncle bought her first real guitar.
Upon graduating from Sevier County High School in 1964, Parton moved to Nashville the next day. Her initial success came as a songwriter, Her songs were recorded by many other artists during this period, In 1974, her song, “I Will Always Love You”, written about her professional break from Wagoner, went to number one on the country chart. On February 11, 2012, after the sudden death of Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton stated, “Mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston. I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song, and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, ‘Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed.'”
The theme song to the 1980 feature film 9 to 5, in which she starred along with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, “9 to 5”, not only reached number one on the country chart, but also, in February 1981, reached number one on the pop and the adult-contemporary charts, giving her a triple number-one hit. Parton voiced the character Dolly Gnome in the animated film Gnomeo & Juliet.
In 2016, at age 70, Parton embarked on one of her biggest tours within the United States in more than 25 years. Sixty-four dates in the United States and Canada, visiting the most requested markets missed on previous tours. In the fall of 2016, she also released “Jolene” as a single with the a cappella group Pentatonix and performed on The Voice with Pentatonix and Miley Cyrus.
In 1998, Nashville Business ranked her to be the wealthiest country-music star. As of 2017, her net worth is estimated to be $500,000,000. Parton indicated she has written over 3,000 songs, writing seriously since the age of seven and writes something every day, be it a song or an idea.
Parton invested much of her earnings into business ventures in her native East Tennessee, notably Pigeon Forge. She is a co-owner of The Dollywood Company, which operates the theme park Dollywood (a former Silver Dollar City), a dinner theater, Dolly Parton’s Stampede, and the waterpark Dollywood’s Splash Country, and the Dream More Resort and Spa, all in Pigeon Forge. Dollywood is ranked as the 24th-most-popular theme park in the United States, with some 3,000,000 visitors per year.
On May 30, 1966, Parton and Carl Thomas Dean were married in Ringgold, Georgia. Although Parton does not use Dean’s surname professionally, she has stated that her passport says “Dolly Parton Dean” According to Parton he has seen her perform only once and he is a private person, living out of the public eye. She has commented on Dean’s romantic side, saying that he does spontaneous things to surprise her and sometimes even writes poems for her. In 2011 Parton said, “We’re really proud of our marriage. It’s the first for both of us. And the last.”
Parton and Dean helped raise several of Parton’s younger siblings in Nashville, leading her nieces and nephews to refer to her as “Aunt Granny,” a moniker that later lent its name to one of Parton’s Dollywood restaurants. The couple have no children of their own, but Parton is the godmother of performer Miley Cyrus.
She also is known for having undergone considerable plastic surgery. On a 2003 episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Winfrey asked what kind of cosmetic surgery Parton had undergone. Parton replied that cosmetic surgery was imperative in keeping with her famous image. Parton has repeatedly joked about her physical image and surgeries, saying, “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap.” When asked about future plastic surgeries, she famously said, “If I see something sagging, bagging or dragging, I’ll get it nipped, tucked or sucked.”
Since the mid-1980s, Parton has supported many charitable efforts, particularly in the area of literacy, primarily through her Dollywood Foundation. Her literacy program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a part of the Dollywood Foundation, mails one book per month to each enrolled child from the time of their birth until they enter kindergarten. Currently, over 1600 local communities provide the Imagination Library to almost 850,000 children each month across the U.S., Canada, the UK, and Australia. In 2018, Parton was honored by the Library of Congress on account of the “charity sending out its 100 millionth book”. In 2006, Parton published a cookbook, Dolly’s Dixie Fixin’s: Love, Laughter and Lots of Good Food.
The Dollywood Foundation, funded from Parton’s net profits, has been noted for bringing jobs and tax revenues to a previously depressed region. Parton also has worked to raise money on behalf of several other causes, including the American Red Cross and HIV/AIDS-related charities. In December 2006, Parton pledged $500,000 toward a proposed $90-million hospital and cancer center to be constructed in Sevierville in the name of Dr. Robert F. Thomas, the physician who delivered her
In 2003, her efforts to preserve the bald eagle through the American Eagle Foundation’s sanctuary at Dollywood earned her the Partnership Award from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Parton is one of the most-honored female country performers of all time. The Record Industry Association of America has certified 25 of her single or album releases as either Gold Record, Platinum Record, or Multi-Platinum Record. She has had 26 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard country charts, a record for a female artist. She has 42 career top-10 country albums, a record for any artist, and 110 career-charted singles over the past 40 years. All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, collaboration records, compilation usage, and paid digital downloads during Parton’s career have reportedly topped 100 million records around the world. She has received honors through Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, Country Music Hall of Fame, National Academy of Popular Music/Songwriters Hall of Fame, National Medal of Arts, the highest honor given by the U.S. government for excellence in the arts and has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. There is a star on the Nashville Star Walk for Grammy winners; and a bronze sculpture on the courthouse lawn in Sevierville. She has called that statue of herself in her hometown “the greatest honor,” because it came from the people who knew her. Parton was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1969,
Parton has earned nine Grammy Awards (including her 2011 Lifetime Achievement Grammy) and a total of 46 Grammy Award nominations, the most nominations of any female artist in the history of the prestigious awards. Parton has received 46 Grammy Award nominations, tying her with Bruce Springsteen for the most Grammy nominations and positioning her in tenth place overall.
She is one of only six female artists (including Reba McEntire, Barbara Mandrell, Shania Twain, Loretta Lynn, and Taylor Swift), to win the Country Music Association’s highest honor, Entertainer of the Year (1978). She also has been nominated for two Academy Awards and a Tony Award. She was nominated for an Emmy Award for her appearance in a 1978 Cher television special
In June 2018, Parton announced an eight-part Netflix series, featuring her music career. Parton is playing as singer, songwriter, executive producer and co-star in the series.
Entrance to Dollywood in Pigeon Forge