Dolly Parton Biography

Dolly Parton Biography

It is difficult to overstate the achievements of Dolly Parton. Songwriter, singer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, author, actor, businesswoman, and philanthropist, she has received every accolade the music industry offers, including nine GRAMMY Awards, ten Country Music Association Awards, seven Academy of Country Music Awards, and three American Music Awards, and is one of only seven female artists to have be named CMA Entertainer of the Year.

The fourth of twelve children, Dolly was born in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee in a one-room cabin that had no electricity. The family listened to the Grand Ole Opry on a battery-powered radio. She started writing songs at age five and by the time she was ten was making $20 a week singing on a Knoxville television show. In1964, the day after becoming the first in her family to graduate from high school, she packed a cardboard suitcase and boarded a bus headed for Nashville. “I had a dream,” she said, “and I had a talent, I thought. And I really believed it was going to happen.” It certainly was.

Over her 50+ years in the industry, she has had 25 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard country music charts (a record for female artists that she shares with Reba McEntire), 41 Top 10 country albums (a record for any artist), and has had 110 charted singles. Her songwriting talent produced genre-busting hits for herself and for others, including “Jolene,” “I Will Always Love You,” and “9 to 5,” the theme song for the 1980 feature film in which she starred alongside Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Parton also co-starred in the hit films Steel Magnolias and Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, among others, and has been nominated for an Academy Award twice.

  "Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square" Full Cast

Parton is co-owner of The Dollywood Company, which operates a theme park, dinner theaters, waterpark, and other resorts. She co-owned Sandollar Productions, a film-and-television company, and since the mid-1980s has spearheaded numerous charitable efforts. Her literacy program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, provides free books to hundreds of thousands of children across the United States and in 2018 was honored by the U.S. Library of Congress for having sent out its 100 millionth book.