Country music icon Dolly Parton was born on January 19, 1946 in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, Dolly Parton was one of twelve children and money was always an issue for her family. Her first exposure to music came from her mother who sang. Much of the early music Parton learned was church songs.
At the age of 10, she started performing professionally, appearing on local television and radio shows in Knoxville. Parton made her Grand Ole Opry debut three years later.
Parton and Wagoner became a popular pair and the pair recorded a swing of country hits together. Parton scored her first No. 1 country hit in 1971 with “Joshua.” More hits soon followed, including 1973’s “Jolene” and 1974’s “I Will Always Love You” now one of Parton’s signature songs.
In 1977, Parton had her first cross-over smash with the up-tempo but bittersweet “Here You Come Again.” The song reached the top of both the pop and country charts. She also received her first Grammy Award for her performance of this tune.
A series of pop-country hits followed into the mid-1980s, the most successful being her 1981 hit “9 to 5” (from the film of the same name) and her 1983 duet with Kenny Rogers “Islands in the Stream”, both of which topped the U.S. pop and country singles charts.
A pair of albums recorded with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris was among her later successes. In the late 1990s, she returned to classic country or bluegrass with a series of acclaimed recordings.
Parton is the most honoured female country performer of all time. Achieving 25 RIAA certified gold, platinum, and multi-platinum awards, she has had 25 songs reach #1 on the Billboard Country charts, a record for a female artist.
She has 41 career top 10 country albums, a record for any artist, and she has 110 career charted singles over the past 40 years. All-inclusive sales of singles, albums, hits collections, and digital downloads during her career have topped 100 million worldwide.
In 1999, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She has composed over 3,000 songs, the best known of which include “I Will Always Love You” (a two-time U.S. country chart-topper for Parton, as well as an international pop hit for Whitney Houston), “Jolene”, “Coat of Many Colours”, “9 to 5”, and “My Tennessee Mountain Home”.
Dolly Parton has remained number one in the country music industry; she married her husband Carl Dean in 1966.The couple met the day Dolly arrived in Nashville as an 18-year-old, keen to pursue a career in music, and they’ve been together ever since, dolly is one of the most successful recording artists of all time.
She is also a businesswoman, having founded her own theme park, Dollywood, a radio station, restaurants, and record and TV companies. She even has her own literacy programme, which distributes 2.5 million free books to children every year. Dolly and her husband have never had children of their own but were involved in taking care of her siblings.