Dolly Parton biography
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.
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.
Singer and Actress
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.
Parton explored the music of her Appalachian roots with The Grass Is Blue (1999) with a little help from such talents as Alison Krauss and Patty Loveless. The record won a Grammy for best bluegrass album in 1999. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame the following year.
In 2006, Dolly Parton received special recognition for her lifetime contributions to the arts. She was one of five artists feted at the annual Kennedy Center Honors. This achievement is just the latest award for this remarkable performer who has forged her own place in country music history. She also picked up a second Academy Award nomination for the song "Travelin' Thru," which appeared on the soundtrack for Transamerica.
Continuing to write and record, Parton released Backwoods Barbie (2008). The album featured two country hits "Better Get To Livin'" and "Jesus & Gravity." Parton got into public feud with satellite radio shock jock Howard Stern around this time. She was upset after he aired a segment in which previous spoken recordings were manipulated to make it sound like she made some obscene statements.
After writing so many of her own hits, Parton had penned the songs for a new musical based on her earlier hit workplace comedy, 9 to 5. The show debuted in the fall of 2008 in Los Angeles before its brief Broadway run.
Parton may be in her sixties now, but she shows no signs of wanting to slow down. She released Better Day in 2011, which fared well on the country album charts. The following year, Parton published her latest book Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You. She is also the author of several other works, including Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business (1995).
Parton has been married to Carl Dean since 1966. The couple met at a laundromat two years earlier.