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Country music queen Dolly Parton is a cultural icon whose voluptuous figure and powerful voice made her popular on both stage and screen.
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Dolly Parton and producer Chet Atkins laughed for many years about the first time she visited the RCA studio.
Dolly Parton is a beloved country singer, entrepreneur and philanthropist from Tennessee, whose larger-than-life personality and reputation attracts thousands of visitors to her theme park, Dollywood, every year.
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Born on January 19, 1946 in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, Dolly Parton was one of twelve children. After high school, she moved to Nashville to pursue music. She has won a number of Country Music and Grammy awards, and starred in the hit films 9 to 5 and Steel Magnolias. She opened her Dollywood theme park in 1986, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
"I'm not offended by dumb blonde jokes because I know that I'm not dumb. I also know I'm not blonde."
"I look just like the girls next door... if you happen to live next door to an amusement park."
Born on January 19, 1946, in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, Dolly Parton grew up poor in rural Appalachia. She was one of 12 children, and money was always an issue for her family. Her first exposure to music came from her mother who sang. Much of the early music Parton learned were church songs.
Parton received her first guitar from a relative and soon started penning her own tunes. At age 10, she started performing professionally, appearing on local television and radio shows in Knoxville. Parton made her Grand Ole Opry debut three years later. Set on a career in music, she then moved to Nashville after finishing high school.
Parton's singing career really started to take off in 1967. Around this time, she partnered with Porter Wagoner on The Porter Wagoner Show. Parton and Wagoner became a popular duo and the pair recorded a slew of country hits together. Much was made of her shapely curves, petite stature and warm personality.
Parton's work with Wagoner also helped her land a contract with RCA Records. Parton scored her first number-one country hit in 1971 with "Joshua." More hits soon followed, including 1973's "Jolene" and 1974's "I Will Always Love You"—now one of Parton's signature songs. She won the Country Music Award for female vocalist in 1975 and 1976.
In 1977, Parton had her first cross-over smash with the uptempo but bittersweet "Here You Come Again." The song reached the top of both the pop and country charts. She also received her first Grammy Award for her performance of this tune.
Parton perhaps reached the apex of her mainstream success in the 1980s. She not only starred the 1980 hit comedy 9 to 5, which marked her film debut, but she contributed to its soundtrack. The title song proved to another number-one hit for Parton on several charts and earned her an Academy Award nomination. Parton starred in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas in 1982, which helped introduce a new generation to her song "I Will Always Love You." The following year she scored another major smash with her duet with Kenny Rogers, "Islands in the Stream."
Around this time, Parton branched out in a new direction. She opened her own theme park called Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in 1986. The amusement park remains a popular travel destination to this day.
Over the years, Parton has enjoyed many other successful collaborations. She recorded the Grammy Award-winning album Trio with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt in 1987. Parton revisited her signature song, "I Will Always Love You," in 1991 as a duet with In 1993, Parton teamed up with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette for Honky Tonk Angels.
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