Find Out Who You Are and Do it on Purpose is one of the many great quotes by Dolly Parton, and she’s certainly taken her own advice. She’s never been anything more or less than exactly who she is and that’s part of why she’s become so much more than a country icon. She’s added Musician, Film Star, and even Philanthropist to the list.
One of 12 Kids
Parton was born in Pittman Center, Tennessee, Avie Lee Caroline, and Robert Lee Parton Senior’s fourth child in the family’s one-room mountain cabin on the shores of Little Pigeon River. Her parents would go on to have 12 more children.
Her Tennessee Mountain Home is Hers
Parton and her family eventually moved from the cabin she was born into a Locust Ridge farm, a place she adored and which inspired her 1973 release, My Tennessee Mountain Home. Unwilling to part with it, she purchased the property in the 1980s.
A Record for Her Records
Parton has received eight Grammys, although she’s been nominated almost 50 times. She held the title of Most Nominations for a Female Recording Artist with 47 until 2014, when Beyoncé took it over.
Two Smash-hits in Less Than 24 Hours
Parton wrote two of her best-known songs, I Will Always Love You and Jolene, on the same night. The latter would go on to be so successful that it made its way onto the Billboard Hot 100 and saw her breaking into the UK market, where it climbed to No. 7 on the British charts.
The Price of Perfection
Dolly Parton’s famous 40DD chest-size is part of her brand and that’s not something she takes lightly. The Girls, as she’s known to call them, are insured for US$300 000 each.
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Losing a Look-Alike
Parton has revealed that she once entered a Dolly Parton Look-Alike competition, going up against a sashay of drag queens. She entered in secret and no one questioned her, assuming that she was one of them.
She lost! The Queen of Country Music didn’t look enough like herself, or so said the judges.
Giving Back to the Community
Being one of the world’s finest-ever country singers, a great actress, and the charming owner of a theme park that celebrates her roots isn’t enough for Dolly Parton. She’s also heavily involved with philanthropy, most famously with her Imagination Library.
Although Parton says her father was one of the most intelligent men she ever knew, he was illiterate, and that’s why she started this program. Growing up in the extreme poverty she did, Parton knows first-hand that families that are struggling to put food on the table won’t bother about getting books in the hands of their children.
So, the Imagination Library sends books to kids in need the world over, including the USA, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Australia. They’ve sent out 120+ million books and counting since 1995 when the charity was established.