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Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton

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Also Known As: Dolly Rebecca Parton Died:
Born: January 19, 1946 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Sevierville, Tennessee, USA Profession: songwriter, singer, actress, producer, philanthropist, musician, businesswoman, author, screenwriter

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

One of the most iconic figures in country music, Dolly Parton distinguished herself as a singer, songwriter, and all-around entertainer, ultimately transcending the confines of country to become a celebrity whose sphere was bigger than any single genre. Born on January 19, 1946 in Sevierville, Tennessee, Parton grew up literally dirt poor, living in a one-room cabin in the Tennessee mountains with her mother, sharecropper father, and 11 siblings. The performing bug bit Parton early, and she began singing professionally while still a child, appearing on local radio and TV programs. In 1964 she relocated to Nashville to pursue songwriting. Parton ended up writing for several successful country artists, including Skeeter Davis, Kitty Wells, and Hank Williams, Jr. Country star Porter Wagoner drafted Parton to replace his departing partner Norma Jean on his weekly TV show in 1967. That same year, she and Wagoner began recording as a duo. Their partnership was successful from the start, yielding a long string of hits. But though Parton had been recording as a solo artist since before working with Wagoner, releasing her debut album, Hello, I'm Dolly, in '67, her own efforts were consistently overshadowed...

One of the most iconic figures in country music, Dolly Parton distinguished herself as a singer, songwriter, and all-around entertainer, ultimately transcending the confines of country to become a celebrity whose sphere was bigger than any single genre. Born on January 19, 1946 in Sevierville, Tennessee, Parton grew up literally dirt poor, living in a one-room cabin in the Tennessee mountains with her mother, sharecropper father, and 11 siblings. The performing bug bit Parton early, and she began singing professionally while still a child, appearing on local radio and TV programs. In 1964 she relocated to Nashville to pursue songwriting. Parton ended up writing for several successful country artists, including Skeeter Davis, Kitty Wells, and Hank Williams, Jr. Country star Porter Wagoner drafted Parton to replace his departing partner Norma Jean on his weekly TV show in 1967. That same year, she and Wagoner began recording as a duo. Their partnership was successful from the start, yielding a long string of hits. But though Parton had been recording as a solo artist since before working with Wagoner, releasing her debut album, Hello, I'm Dolly, in '67, her own efforts were consistently overshadowed and outsold by the duo's output. She quit the show in '73 to concentrate on her solo career, though they made a couple more records together. Parton kicked into high gear immediately with a long string of chart-topping singles, including 1974's "I Will Always Love You," which would become even bigger in 1992 when Whitney Houston's version became one of the top-selling singles of all time. Parton scored a truckload of big hits throughout the '70s and '80s, and with her flamboyant image and sassy, self-possessed attitude, she became a mainstream celebrity, crossing over to the pop market beginning with 1977's "Here You Come Again." She hosted her own TV variety series in 1976, and starting with 1980's hit film "9 to 5," she began a successful movie acting career that included hits like "Steel Magnolias" (1989) and "Dumlin'" (2018) as well as high-profile flops like "The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas" (1982) and "Rhinestone" (1984). In the late '80s she had a sideline working in a trio with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris, with great critical and commercial success. Starting in the late '90s she reached back to her roots, releasing a series of bluegrass albums. As gifted a businesswoman as she is an artist, Parton established multiple enterprises outside her music career, including her Dollywood theme park and several others. Over the course of her career, she was been honored by the Golden Globes, The Grammys, and just about every other awards organization, becoming one of country's most widely celebrated artists ever.

VIEW THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Filmographyclose complete filmography

CAST: (feature film)

2.
4.
 Joyful Noise (2012)
5.
 Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
9.
10.
 Frank McKlusky, C.I. (2002) Frank'S Mother
VIEW THE FULL FILMOGRAPHY

Milestones close milestones

2005:
Earned second Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for "Travelin' Thru" from the film "Transamerica"; also garnered Golden Globe and Grammy nominations
1989:
Joined an ensemble cast for "Steel Magnolias"
1978:
Performed with Cher on the ABC special "Cher...Special"; nominated for an Emmy for Supporting Actress in a Variety or Musical Special
1992:
Played radio-program host opposite James Woods in "Straight Talk"; also provided songs
1977:
Went mainstream with pop-rock band Gypsy Fever
1992:
Whitney Houston released a highly successful cover version of "I Will Always Love You" as the theme song for the film "The Bodyguard"
2004:
Earned a Grammy Award nomination for Best Country Collaboration with Norah Jones
1986:
Founded Dollywood, a theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
1976:
Hosted first syndicated variety show "Dolly"
1995:
Played herself in the TV-movies "Big Dreams & Broken Hearts: The Dottie West Story" (CBS) and "Naomi & Wynnona: Love Can Build a Bridge" (NBC)
1987:
Starred on the short-lived ABC variety series "Dolly"
:
Co-founded Sandollar Productions with manager Sandy Gallin
1990:
Debuted as executive producer with "Dolly Parton: Christmas at Home" (ABC)
1993:
Recorded "The Day I Fall In Love" as a duet with James Ingram for the film "Beethoven's 2nd"; the song was nominated for an Oscar and she performed it with Ingram on the awards telecast
2009:
Wrote the musical score for "9 to 5: The Musical," an adaptation of her feature film; earned Tony and Grammy Award nominations
1996:
Executive produced and starred in the CBS TV-movie "Unlikely Angel"
2002:
Released third bluegrass album <i>Halos & Horns</i>, which included a version of the Led Zeppelin classic "Stairway to Heaven"
1984:
Wrote first film score for "Rhinestone"; also co-starred with Sylvester Stallone
2011:
Voiced the character Dolly Gnome on the animated feature "Gnomeo & Juliet"
2012:
Co-starred with Queen Latifah as choir singers in the musical comedy "Joyful Noise"
2015:
Narrated "Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors," a TV movie based on her life
2016:
Performed on "The Voice" opposite god daughter Miley Cyrus
2006:
Appeared as 'Aunt Dolly' on the Disney Channel series "Hannah Montana"; was the real-life godmother of Hannah's Miley Cyrus
1980:
Co-starred with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in her feature film debut "Nine to Five"; also wrote and sang the theme song, which became a hit and earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Song; also earned a Best Actress Golden Globe nomination
1987:
Collaborated with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris for the successful album <i>Trio</i>
1982:
Played a brothel owner opposite Burt Reynolds in "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas"
1960:
Made her TV debut on the syndicated "The Porter Wagoner Show"
1983:
Headlined her first solo TV special, "Dolly in Concert" (HBO)
1958:
Made her debut at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee
1991:
Starred in the NBC TV-movie "Wild Texas Wind"; also produced and wrote the music
1956:
Was featured on the radio broadcast "The Cass Walker Program" in Knoxville at the age of nine
1977:
Had commercial success as a pop singer with the album <i>Here You Come Again</i>
1967:
Became a regular on the weekly country music program "The Porter Wagoner Show" (Syndicated); performed with Wagoner on tour and released several singles together
1967:
Recorded her debut album, <i>Hello, I'm Dolly</i>
1999:
Recorded her first bluegrass album, <i>The Grass Is Blue</i>
1974:
Recorded the single "I Will Always Love You" (written about her professional break with Wagoner)
1994:
Collaborated with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette to record the album <i>Honky Tonk Angels</i>
1986:
Made TV-movie debut in "A Smoky Mountain Christmas" (ABC); also provided story and wrote songs
1965:
Signed with Monument Records and released first single "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby"
1984:
Teamed with Kenny Rogers for the holiday special "Kenny & Dolly: A Christmas to Remember" (CBS)
2012:
Published the book <i>Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You </i>
:
Known for such albums as "Little Sparrow"
:
Popular songs include "Jolene" and "9 To 5".
2016:
Released her 43rd album, <i>Pure & Simple</i>, and embarked on her biggest tour in over two decades
2017:
Released the album <i>I Believe In You</i>
:
Received the National Medal of Arts.
VIEW ALL MILESTONES

Notes

Inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in June 2001.

"Dolly Parton has alway been a walking, talking, singing mass of contradictions, and that has long been a part of her immense appeal. For nearly 30 years now she has been the woman with the razor-sharp mind and the little-girl voice, the multimillion-dollar businesswoman in a Rhinestone Barbie body, a country-western queen beloved of the jaded urban priviligentsia, so hiply unhip, so chicly unchic, cloaking an innate elegance in a clash of glitter and trash.

"The jacket, the camisole, the tight blue jeans, the sheer black stockings, the spike-heeled black boots, the blond wig, the heart-shaped diamond ring: At 46, Dolly Parton is a kind of righteous Zen paradox, so artificial as to be completely real, finding her truth and her own honest innocence in a crafty excess of paint and powder." --Lynn Darling in New York Newsday, April 9, 1992.

"Left to my own, I'd rather look like trash. I love tacky clothes. My look came from a very serious honest place, and that was a country girl's idea of what glamor was." --Dolly Parton to New York Newsday, April 9, 1992.

"My music is what took me everywhere I've been and everywhere I will go. It's my greatest love. I can't abandon it. I'll always keep making records, even if I have to sell them through the mail or the Internet." --Parton to USA Today, August 25, 1998.

"Well, I was this child that had a dream . . . I felt like not much attention was paid to me. So I found my attention. I actually found a friend in my guitar. I had a very active mind. I had an outgoing personality. I needed to be noticed. People said we'll take you down to the radio station. I was the kind of kid that the more attention I got, the more I needed, and I felt like I had a gift, and the more people told me I was good, the more I believed them." --Dolly Parton to The Observer, September 6, 1998.

"I'm not offended at all, because I know I'm not a dumb blonde. I also know I'm not blonde."---Parton Peope July 06, 1992

Companions close complete companion listing

husband:
Carl Dean. Businessman (asphalt paving). Married on May 30, 1966.

Family close complete family listing

father:
Robert Lee Parton. Tobacco farmer. Born c. 1921; died on November 12, 2000 at age 79 from complications from a stroke.
mother:
Avie Lee Parton. Married at age 15.
brother:
Larry Parton. Died in infancy.
sister:
Stella Parton. Singer, actor. Born on May 4, 1949; had country hits like "Ode to Olivia" and "I Want to Hold You in My Dreams Tonight".
sister:
Rachel Parton. Singer, actor. Played the Doralee part her famous sibling had played in the movie version on the TV sitcom "9 to 5" (ABC, 1982-1983; syndicated, 1986-1988); performs at Dollywood.
brother:
Randy Parton. Singer, bass player. Backed her on bass before landing an RCA contract himself; performs at Dollywood; appeared as a band member in "Rhinestone" (1984).
brother:
Floyd Parton. Performer, songwriter. Younger; has twin sister Frieda; appeared as a band member in "Rhinestone"; wrote "Rockin' Years", a duet Dolly sang with Ricky Van Shelton, which became a smash single from her "Eagle When She Flies" (1991) album.
sister:
Freida Parton. Twin of Floyd.
cousin:
Richie Owens. Musician. Backed her on (and co-produced) "Hungry Again" (1998) album.
VIEW COMPLETE FAMILY LISTING

Bibliography close complete biography

"Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business"
"Coat of Many Colors"

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