She was the fourth of 12 children whose simple existence in the Tennessee mountains could literally be described as dirt poor. But Dolly Parton transcended her upbringing and wound up becoming one of the most accomplished and awarded women in the entertainment industry. She’s a true icon who should be soundly celebrated…as should the very special milestone she’s about to pass.
Happy Birthday, Dolly Parton!
And that’s because she was born on January 19, 1946, in Pittman Center, Tennessee, which means that this living legend is turning 75 years old today! Parton’s appreciation of music and performing developed at an early age, and her innate gift for instrument playing and songwriting soon earned her spots on various radio stations and TV programs.
At the age of 13, she relocated to Nashville to pursue a career as a lyricist, and she wound up producing material for artists such as Skeeter Davis, Kitty Wells, and Hank Williams Jr.
In 1967, Porter Wagoner drafted Parton onto his weekly, eponymous variety series. Outside of the show, the two began recording as a duo and eventually released 11 successful albums.
Seven years later, Parton severed ties with Wagoner – and the emancipation brought forth two of Parton’s all-time greatest hits: I Will Always Love You and Jolene. Both songs were penned during the same session.
Further hits included Here You Come Again (1977), Heartbreaker (1978), Baby I’m Burning (1979) and You’re the Only One (1979). In 1980, Parton made her film debut in 9 to 5 as one of three mutinous secretaries, along with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, who imprison their sexist boss and take over the running of his office. The theme song she penned of the same name was nominated for an Oscar and reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.
Subsequently, Parton had starring roles The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), Rhinestone (1984), Steel Magnolias (1989), and Straight Talk (1992). During her time as a film star, Parton continued to contribute to the music industry. She formed a trio with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt and returned to her roots with a series of well-received bluegrass albums.
The majority of Parton’s earnings have been heavily invested into various business ventures in her native East Tennessee. She co-owns The Dollywood Company, which operates the theme park Dollywood, a dinner theater, Dolly Parton’s Stampede, the waterpark Dollywood’s Splash Country, and the Dream More Resort and Spa – all located in Pigeon Forge.
Parton has also become well known for her charitable endeavors, particularly in the realm of literacy. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a free children’s book gifting program, has been sponsored by the Dolly Parton Foundation since 1995. As of 2021, it sends out roughly 1.3 million books to over 1,800 local communities in the U.S., Canada, Ireland, and the United Kingdom every single month.
In November 2020, it was announced that the $1 million donation, that Parton made to Vanderbilt University in aid of COVID-19 research, helped produce the Moderna vaccine.
Parton has been married to Carl Thomas Dean, a retired businessman whom she met in a laundromat, since May 30, 1966. She is the godmother of singer-songwriter and actress Miley Cyrus.
Entertainment Hub would like to wish Dolly Parton a very happy birthday, and you can too by clicking on the Twitter link below.