Dolly Parton is a multi-talented woman who has worked as a singer, lyricist, novelist, actress, and businesswoman. Her philanthropic activity is very well-known. Dolly Parton began her career when she was only 13 years old. Although she rose to prominence as a songwriter, she went on to achieve success in other professions as well. Dolly Parton is well known for country music and is a household name in the United States. She has written and produced over 3000 songs throughout the course of her six-decade career, winning numerous awards including Grammys, Country Music Association Awards, and American Music Awards, as well as being nominated for the Academy Awards thrice. Until 2013, Dolly Parton held the record for receiving the most Grammy Award nominations, with 46. She has also been taught to play the piano, banjo, and guitar in addition to singing. Dolly Parton has been dubbed a homosexual icon by the LGBT community for her public support of LGBT equality. Dolly Parton’s ancestors include English, Irish, German, and Scottish.
Childhood and Adolescence
Dolly Parton was born in Sevier County, Tennessee, on January 19, 1946. Robert Lee Parton, a farmer and construction laborer, and Avie Lee had a total of twelve children. Her family was later regarded as being economically disadvantaged by her.
Dolly Parton grew up in a musical family, and she learned to sing from her mother. She credits her uncle Bill Owens for encouraging her to pursue music as a vocation when she was young.
She moved to Nashville, Tennessee after graduating from high school in 1964 to pursue a career in music.
Career of Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton began her professional career performing on television and radio shows in Knoxville, Tennessee, when she was ten years old. Later, in 1967, she teamed up with entertainer Porter Wagoner for the Porter Wagoner Show, and her career took off. This collaboration also aided her in landing a recording contract with RCA Records.
In 1967, RCA Records issued her first duet single with Porter Wagoner, a copy of Tom Paxton’s song “The Last Thing on My Mind,” which charted in the country top ten in early 1968. This combination had an uninterrupted top ten singles streak for the next six years.
Dolly Parton’s song “Joshua” became her first No. 1 Country singles success in 1971. In the years that followed, she had other hit singles and duets, including ‘Coat of Many Colors,’ ‘Burning the Midnight Oil,’ ‘Touch Your Woman,’ and ‘The Right Combination.’
Dolly Parton’s single “Jolene” had the biggest hit until then in 1973. The following year, she recorded ‘I Will Always Love You,’ which went on to become one of her signature songs and a country chart topper.
‘Jolene,’ ‘I Will Always Love You,’ and ‘Love is Like a Butterfly’ were her three country chart singles in 1974. Dolly Parton ended her relationship with Porter Wagoner about this time, deciding to pursue her ambition of a solo career. They stayed friendly, and he continued to help Dolly Parton with her recordings. They continued to record duet albums until 1975, when they released ‘Say Forever You’ll Be Mine.’
Dolly Parton wanted to increase her recognition by transitioning from country to pop music, and in 1976 she began working with talent manager Sandy Galling, who would later become her personal manager for the following 25 years. Her album ‘All I Can Do’ was released the same year. However, despite being warmly appreciated, the first few albums did not reach the top of the charts.
Her first crossover hit, ‘Here You Come Again,’ was released in 1977, and it topped both the Pop and Country Music charts. In 1978, she won her first Grammy Award for her performance. Dolly Parton continued to have successful songs that topped country music charts in the two years that followed. During this time, she made numerous television appearances, both as a guest on shows and as a host.
‘Starting Over Again,’ ‘Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle To You,’ and ‘9 to 5’ were all big singles in 1980, boosting her profile even more. In 1980, Dolly Parton starred in the comedy feature film ‘9 to 5’. In 1981, the film’s theme song topped the adult contemporary, pop, and country music charts at the same time. Dolly Parton was the only artist that had a record like this.
She went on to star in a number of films, including ‘Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’ (1982), ‘Rhinestone’ (1984), ‘Steel Magnolias'(1989), and ‘Straight Talk'(1992), as well as a few television episodes, following the success of her acting debut. Dolly Parton established Dollywood, a theme park in Tennessee, in 1986. Even now, the amusement park remains a major tourist site.
Dolly Parton was still doing well in the music industry in the mid-eighties, with high album sales. Her contract with RCA Records terminated around the same time as her contract with Columbia Records, which she signed in 1987. In the same year, she and songwriter and singer Emmylou Harris, as well as singer Linda Ronstadt, published the album ‘Trio,’ which became a smash and received widespread critical acclaim.
With the album ‘Rainbow,’ Dolly Parton resumed her quest for pop music success. Later in her career, she shifted her focus to country music, producing No. 1 songs such as “Yellow Roses” and “Why’d You Come in Here Lookin’ Like That.”
Dolly Parton’s song “I Will Always Love You” was covered by Whitney Houston for the feature film “The Bodyguard” in 1992, and it became a major success for her. The song, like the album, was a smash hit.
Her CD ‘Slow Dancing With The Moon’ was critically acclaimed in 1993. The creators of the song ‘The Day I Fall in Love,’ which was featured in the film ‘Beethoven’s 2nd,’ were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song the same year. Her songs were well received until the late 1990s, and they retained their individuality.
She began recording a series of albums in 1999 that were inspired by Bluegrass music, a form of American country music. ‘The Grass is Blue’ (1999), ‘Little Sparrow’ (2001), ‘Halos & Horns’ (2002), and ‘Those Were the Days’ (2003) were her four albums (2005). She also penned the song “Travelin’ Thru” for the feature film “Transamerica” in 2005, for which she received an Academy Award nomination.
She has been busy since then, appearing on musical performances and releasing her own song collection, among other things. ‘You Can’t Make Old Friends,’ a musical CD she co-wrote with Kenny Rogers, was released in 2013. ‘Blue Smoke,’ her 42nd album, was published in 2014.
Major Projects of Dolly Parton
Her best-known song is “I Will Always Love You,” which she wrote, arranged, and initially recorded as the second single from her 1974 album “Jolene.” The song was covered by Whitney Houston for the 1992 film ‘The Bodyguard,’ and it has since become one of the best-selling songs of all time.
In 1996, Dolly Parton established the Dollywood Foundation. The charity focuses on literacy and has helped children in over 1600 towns in the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom learn to read.
Dolly Parton has also volunteered for organizations such as the American Red Cross and the HIV/AIDS Foundation. PETA has used her songs in their advertising campaigns.
Achievements & Awards
Dolly Parton has been honored by the Recording Industry Association of America with 25 gold, platinum, and multi-platinum awards.
In 1978, her album ‘New Harvest, First Gathering’ won the American Music Awards’ favorite Country Album category.
For the song “Here You Come Again,” she won the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1979.
Dolly Parton won the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance in 1992 for her song “9 to 5.”
With her album ‘Trio,’ she won the Grammy Award for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group in 1988.
In 1999, Dolly Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2000, she received a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for the song “After the Gold Rush.”
Her CD ‘The Grass Is Blue’ was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 2001.
For the song “Shine,” she won the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for the second time in 2002.
Dolly Parton received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
Personal History and Legacy
Dolly Parton married Carl Thomas Dean, a businessman, in Georgia on May 30, 1966. There are no children in the family. Miley Cyrus, an American singer, has Dolly Parton as her godmother.
Estimated Net Worth
Dolly Parton’s net worth is $650 million dollars.
Dolly Parton inspired the first cloned sheep, Dolly.