Celebrity Then And Now
Posted by Ryan Neal
Name: Dolly Parton
Birthdate: January 19, 1946
Famous Years: 1967-Present
Currently Known For: Continued Music Career
|Networth: $500 Million||Famous For: Jolene, 9 to 5, Coat of Many Colors|
January 19, 1946
Continued Music Career
Jolene, 9 to 5, Coat of Many Colors
If you were to assemble a Mount Rushmore style of monument to country music where you take the four biggest names in the industry, there’s a good chance that you’d include Dolly Parton. Not only has she sustained a career in the music genre for more than 50 years, but she’s also had a long and successful business career. On top of that, all accounts say that Parton is one of the nicest celebrities that any fan could ever encounter, which has elevated her status among country fans even higher throughout the years.
Parton was born in the very small town of Pittman Center, Tennessee on January 19, 1945 to a family that symbolized life in the area. Her father had worked several jobs at a time to provide enough money to support the family that had 12 children that were raised at home by Parton’s mother, Avie. Parton didn’t come from money like many of the recent country singers that you might hear, spending her childhood on a farm where she learned how to play music.
At her church, Parton would frequently sing with the choir, and even made her own guitar when she was just seven. She quickly became proficient at the instrument, and became a bit of a local celebrity, beginning to record her own songs when she got to her teenage years. On the advice of country music icon Johnny Cash, Parton decided to follow her dreams of being a country singer when she graduated high school and headed to Nashville, the country music capital of the world.
However, the record label that she signed with, Monument Records, wanted her to be more of a pop singer, feeling it would fit her voice better. Eventually, Parton would convince the label to let her record country songs after getting her first hit with “Put It Off Until Tomorrow” when she was 20 years old. From there, it didn’t take long for Parton to find success in the genre that suited her better.
By the late 1960s, Parton was also performing on television as part of a show with Porter Wagoner, who was able to get her signed to the record label (RCA Victor) that he was part of. This would be instrumental in launching Parton into the mainstream that had several hits to round out the decade and into the 1970s. It was when the two stopped performing together and Parton embarked on a solo career that she really took off.
In 1974, Parton had perhaps her biggest year as she released multiple hits that reached the top of the charts, including “Jolene”, “Love is Like a Butterfly” and “I Will Always Love You” that was famously covered by Whitney Houston years later. Following that impressive year, Parton would have six more number one hits on the US Country charts, with songs like “Here You Come Again” reaching the mainstream top five.
The 1980s wouldn’t see any type of slowdown in Parton’s career as she also branched out into acting, starring in the film “9 to 5” that also saw her reach the top of the mainstream charts with her song of the same title. There’d be 11 songs for Parton that reached number one in the country charts in the 1980s, with another one added in 1991. She’d also continue to make appearances in films, including “Rhinestone”, “Steel Magnolias” and “Straight Talk” during this time.
To this day, Parton is still releasing albums, with three coming out since 2011. Her most recent album, “Pure & Simple”, was released in August 2016 and found the top spot in the country charts and nearly reached the top 10 in the mainstream. She continues to be a United States icon, even adding a theme park to her resume with Dollywood that opened in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee in 1986 after the park had originally been known as Rebel Railroad, and Silver Dollar City when Parton took over.
Throughout her illustrious career in music, acting and business, Parton’s net worth has reached a half billion dollars and she’s earned eight Grammy wins, including a lifetime achievement award. The 72 year old is also a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, and has been married to husband Carl Dean since back in 1966 when her career was just starting. It’s been a full life for Parton, and she seems to only be getting started.
Parton’s personality has made her famous even with those that don’t typically listen to country music. The diverse crowds that show up to watch Parton perform on multiple instruments during each show are treated to one of the best live performers that you can find. “I think that I’ve been at this so long that they’ve come to know me,” Parton said of her fans. “They know I’m not judgemental. They know I like everybody. I want to be accepted myself, and I not only accept, but celebrate, the difference in everyone...I love to think of myself as an entertainer. I make things look like I’m better than I am, because I like to entertain.”