Dolly was born in 1946 one of 12 children to Robert Lee Parton, a tobacco farmer, and Avie Lee Parton. She grew up on a small run-down farm in Locust Ridge, Tennessee. She was performing on Nashville TV by the time she was 12 and by the age of 13 she was already recording on a small label and appearing at the Grand Ole Opry.
In 1964 after she graduated high school in Sevier County, Tennessee she immediately moved to Nashville to launch a musical career. Dolly fell in love with Carl Dean who ran a paving business, the two married on May 30, 1966 at a small chapel in Ringold, Georgia and are still together to this day. The following year Dolly's singing caught the ear and attention of Porter Wagoner who then hired her to appear on his show "The Porter Wagoner Show." Dolly stayed on with Porter and the show for 7 years. Dolly and Porter's duets became famous, and she appeared with his group at the Grand Ole Opry, she also toured and sold solo records. By the time her hit "Joshua" reached number 1 in 1970, her fame had overshadowed that of Porter's, and she decided to strike out on her own. She left Porter in 1974 to become a solo artist, and quickly gained immense popularity as a singer and songwriter.
The petite 5'0" beauty was a natural for television, and by the mid-1970's Dolly had appeared on several TV specials and Talk Shows. In 1976 she was given her own TV show aptly titled "Dolly." The Grammy's came calling Dolly in 1977 when she was awarded her first Grammy for "Best Female Country Vocal Performance," for her song "Here You Come Again."
In 1980 Dolly leapt from TV screens to the big screen when she landed her first movie role as Dora Lee in "Nine to Five," starring alongside Lilly Tomlin and Jane Fonda. The movie was a Box-office smash that was critically acclaimed worldwide. Dolly also penned the title track "9-5" for the movie and received her first Oscar nomination for Best Song, and won two more Grammy's (Best Country Song, and Best Female Country Vocal Performance). Dolly earned more fame and praise in 1982 for her role in "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" as Miss Mona, and in 1984s Rhinestone.
Dolly is not only an amazing singer/actress/songwriter she is also a very savvy business woman. She heads Dolly Parton Enterprises which is a one hundred million dollar media empire. In 1986 she founded Dollywood, a theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee celebrating her Smoky Mountain upbringing.
She was again given a TV show in 1987 titled "Dolly." In 1988 she won another Grammy : Best Country Performance Duo or Group with Vocals for "Trio." As the 80's came to an end we once again found Dolly on the big screen starring as Truvy Jones in the 1989 picture "Steel Magnolias" with Julia Roberts, Sally Field, and Shirley Maclaine. Dolly would go on to star in more than 15 major motion pictures and TV movies in the 90's, and of course she would earn many more Country Music Association awards.
Dolly received her 5th Grammy in 2000 "Best Country Collaboration With Vocals." Dolly is known for her beautiful voice and songs such as "Coat of Many Colors," I Will Always Love You," and "Jolene." Dolly once 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 cant abandon it. I'll always keep making records."
To date Dolly has stuck by those words and has released such great bluegrass albums as "The Grass is Blue," "Little Sparrow," Halo's and Horn's," and the most recent "Those Were the Day's". She is still a very active performer and can be seen almost anywhere. She went out on tour in 2004 for the first time in ten years and has made cameos in many TV shows and specials and can be seen in "Miss Congeniality: Armed and Fabulous."
Dolly is one of the very few celebrities that everyone loves. She has woven herself into our heart strings and we love her for it. She is and will always be our favorite country Queen.