Dolly Rebecca Parton, born in Sevierville, Tennessee on Saturday, 19 January 1946, is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, author and philanthropist, best known for her work in country music. Parton, one of 12 children of Robert Lee Parton, a tobacco farmer, and Avie Lee Parton (née Owens).
Parton grew up on a run-down farm in Locust Ridge, Tennessee. At 12, she was appearing on Knoxville TV and, at 13, she was already recording on a small label and appearing at the Grand Ole Opry. After graduating from high school in Sevier County, Tennessee, in 1964, she moved to Nashville to launch her career as a country singer. She fell in love with Carl Dean, who ran an asphalt-paving business; they got married on May 30, 1966 (and they are still together).
The next year, Parton’s singing caught the attention of Porter Wagoner. He hired Parton to appear on his program, The Porter Wagoner Show (1961). Parton stayed with the show for 7 years, their duets became famous, and she appeared with his group at the Grand Ole Opry; she also toured and sold records. By the time her hit “Joshua” reached #1 in 1970, her fame had overshadowed Porter’s, and she struck out on her own, though still recording duets with him. Parton left him to become a solo artist in 1974.
Parton gained immense popularity as a singer-songwriter. Parton won numerous Country Music Association awards (1968, 1970, 1971, 1975, 1976). This petite (5’0″) beauty was a natural for television and, by the mid-1970s, Parton was appearing frequently on TV specials and talk shows. Parton then got her own show, aptly titled Dolly (1976).
In 1977, Parton got her first Grammy award: Best Female Country Vocal Performance, for her song “Here You Come Again”. Parton’s movie debut was in Nine to Five (1980), where she got an Oscar nomination for writing the title tune, and also Grammy awards 2 and 3, Best Country Song, and Best Female Country Vocal Performance for the song “Nine to Five”.
Parton got more fame for appearing in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), and in Rhinestone (1984) with the song “Tennessee Homesick Blues”. She is the head of Dolly Parton Enterprises, a $100 million media empire, and, in 1986, she founded Dollywood, a theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, celebrating her Smokey Mountain upbringing. She appeared as herself in the Dolly (1987) TV series. In 1988, she won another Grammy award: Best Country Performance Duo or Group with Vocals, for “Trio”.
Parton was in the acclaimed picture Steel Magnolias (1989) with Julia Roberts, and went on to appear in 15 movies and TV-movies for the 1990s, and of course garnered more Country Music Association awards. In 2000, Parton received her 5th Grammy award: Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. She also released a Bluegrass Album. Parton is known for beautiful songs such as “Coat of Many Colors” and “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You”. Parton said in an interview, “My music is what took me everywhere I’ve been and everywhere I will go. It’s my greatest love. I can’t abandon it. I’ll always keep making records”.
Read more about Dolly Rebecca Parton by clicking: Parton.
Parton is not the only entertainer celebrating a birthday today. Other people celebrating today includes: