Dolly Parton is an American country and western singer, songwriter, businesswoman and actress. The fourth of 12 children, Dolly started her musical career while still a child by performing on TV and radio programs broadcast in East Tennessee. After graduating from high school Dolly moved to Nashville and found work by writing songs for others. In three years Parton had caught the eye of country music TV star Porter Wagoner who offered her a spot in his program. The pair recorded duet albums together that had modest success. Dolly also released her first solo album, Hello, I’m Dolly, in 1967. In the 1970s Dolly had eight number one singles on the country chart, securing her place as a bona fide superstar. Movie roles came to her in the 1980s, and by the 1990s Dolly Parton had established herself as a fully-rounded businesswoman with several holdings in her home state.
She was born on January 19, 1946, in a one-room cabin on the shores of Little Pigeon River in Sevier County, Tennessee. Dolly’s zodiac sign is Capricorn, and her middle name is Rebecca.
Dolly is a Christian follower of the Pentecostal denomination. Dolly’s grandfather on her mother’s side was a Pentecostal preacher in Tennessee, and the family regularly attended his church on Sundays. Dolly has remained devout throughout her life: “We grew up believing that through God all things are possible.” (1)
“I pray every day, I always have. I always believed that God would provide,” she once told a reporter. (2)
In recent years Parton has begun recording Christian-themed songs. The move into a more spiritual songwriting chapter in her career was on purpose. “I’ve just felt like God was calling me into that. I’ve always felt like my music was more my ministry than a job.” (3)
On which side her personal politics falls, Ms. Parton is more oblique. She seems supportive of whomever is in the White House, wishing nothing but the best wishes for the current President of the United States.
When Barack Obama was elected to office in 2012, Dolly offered this comment on the record: “I think it’s very interesting, and I think it’s very great. I really think it’s a wonderful time in our lives. I just hate that Obama had to go in with this big burden on him. It’s like, you know, it’s like no matter what he’s, you know, does, its going to, you know, people are going to slap him around. But we should all pray for him. We should all pray and be supportive.” (2)
When she was asked directly about her politics, she answered the question directly in her own way. “I have my own thoughts, my own opinions, of course, but I don’t believe that I should offend people that don’t have that same opinion by voicing my own opinion. I’m an entertainer; I can live it, I can write about it, I can joke, lift people up in my own way. But I don’t see no reason for me to get involved in political fights.” (4)
And on her fanbase, Dolly felt that she has done alright by them. “Half my people are Republicans, half of them are Democrats, and I always joke that I’m just a ‘hypocrat’ — and in a way I kind of am. … I know we can’t ever all get along. But we could get along a little better if we tried a little harder.” (4)
It’s pretty hard to not find an opinion that Dolly has on women’s rights. After all, she was one of the stars in the movie 9 to 5, almost four decades before the #MeToo movement.
On whether she believes herself to be a role model for women’s rights, Parton said, “I must be if being a feminist means I’m all for women, yes. But I don’t feel I have to march, hold up a sign or label myself. I think the way I have conducted my life and my business and myself speaks for itself. I don’t think of it as being feminist. It’s not a label I have to put on myself. I’m just all for gals.” (5)
Dolly was the fourth of twelve children in her parents’ household. While she was part of a big family growing up, Parton chose to not become a mother herself. She married Carl Thomas Dean in 1966, and the married couple renewed their vows on their 50th anniversay in 2016.
3: Fox News
5: The Guardian
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