Happy 72nd Birthday, Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton, the little girl from Sevier County, Tennessee, has long since succeeded beyond her wildest dreams.
She’s an award-winning songwriter. A best-selling author. A theme-park mogul. A charitable powerhouse. A beloved entertainer.
Oh, and she can sing a little bit, too.
In fact, she’s always been able to sing, whether it was on local radio, on Porter Wagoner’s country showcase, in movie musicals or on sellout concert tours.
Her amazing voice — as pure as the proverbial mountain stream — is so true that Auto-Tune hides in embarrassment when it hears Dolly. (Many of her singing partners should count themselves lucky.)
Here’s a look at the life of Dolly Parton, the Grammy Award-winning entertainer and businesswoman.
Personal: Birth date: January 19, 1946
Birth place: Locust Ridge, Sevier County, Tennessee
Birth name: Dolly Rebecca Parton
Father: Robert Lee Parton, farmer
Mother: Avie Lee (Owens) Parton
Marriage: Carl Dean (May 1966-present)
Other Facts: Has received 47 Grammy Award nominations, and won eight competitive awards and one special award.
Has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.
Founder of the Dollywood Foundation which was created to help inspire children in her home town to “Dream More, Learn More, Care More, and Be More!”
The Dollywood Foundation currently funds the Dolly Parton Imagination Library — a program which began in Sevier County, Tennessee, and provides preschool-aged children with a book every month from birth to kindergarten. The program has spread to other parts of the country and internationally.
Was born fourth of 12 children. Six of her siblings worked as professional musicians.
Her family was very poor when she was growing up, which was an inspiration for some of her earlier songs.
Timeline: 1957 – Records her first song, “Puppy Love,” with Goldband Records.
1959 – First guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry at the age of 13.
1964 – Moves to Nashville after graduating from high school.
1967 – Joins “The Porter Wagoner Show.”
1967 – First full-length album titled “Hello, I’m Dolly,” is released on Monument Records.
1968 – Wins the Country Music Association award, with Porter Wagoner, for Vocal Group of the Year.
January 4, 1969 – Becomes a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
1971 – “Joshua” becomes Parton’s first solo single to top the US country charts.
April 1974 – Leaves “The Porter Wagoner Show.” Parton writes the song “I Will Always Love You” in honor of her professional break from duet partner and mentor Porter Wagoner.
1975, 1976 – Receives the Country Music Association award for female vocalist of the year.
1976 – Her syndicated variety show “Dolly!” runs on television.
1978 – Receives the Country Music Association Award for entertainer of the year.
1978 – Wins a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female, for the song “Here You Come Again.”
1980 – Appears in her first film, “9 to 5,” for which she later earns an Oscar nomination for best original song.
1981 – Wins two Grammy Awards. Best Country Vocal Performance, Female, for the song “9 to 5;” and, as a songwriter, Best Country Song, also for “9 to 5.”
May 3, 1986 – The theme park Dollywood opens in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
1987 – Wins a Grammy, with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, for Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group for the album, “Trio.”
1987-1988 – Parton’s primetime variety show on ABC, “Dolly,” airs for one season.
1988 – Establishes the Dollywood Foundation.
1992 – Whitney Houston releases her version of the song “I Will Always Love You,” which tops the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks, a record at the time.
1994 – Releases an autobiography titled “Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business.”
1999 – Wins a Grammy, with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for the song “After the Gold Rush.”
1999 – Is inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
2000 – Wins a Grammy, with Gary Paczosa and Steve Buckingham, for Best Bluegrass Album for the album “The Grass is Blue.”
2001 – Wins a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for the song “Shine.”
May 19, 2001 – The waterpark, Dolly’s Splash Country, opens in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
April 14, 2004 – The US Library of Congress awards Parton with the Living Legend medal.
2005 – Named a recipient of the National Medal of Arts.
2006 – Becomes a Kennedy Center honoree.
2011 – Receives a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
December 10, 2015 – NBC airs the movie, “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors.” It is inspired by Parton’s life and her song, “Coat of Many Colors.”
November 2, 2016 – Receives the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the 50th Annual Country Music Awards Show.
November 30, 2016 – NBC airs “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love,” a sequel to the original movie which aired in 2015.
November 30, 2016 – In a video message, Parton announces that she has created the “My People Fund” through her Dollywood Companies and hopes to give each family affected by the Great Smoky Mountain wildfires $1,000 a month for six months to help them get “back on their feet.”
February 15, 2017 – Wins a Grammy, with Pentatonix, for Best Country Duo/Group Performance, for a remake of her song “Jolene.”