American singer, songwriter, novelist, entrepreneur, and philanthropist Dolly Parton is known for her work in the entertainment industry. With a career spanning more than four decades, Dolly Parton is a household name in the country music industry. She has had 25 number one country songs and 41 top 10 country albums.
The songs “9 to 5” and “I Will Always Love You,” both performed by Whitney Houston for the film The Bodyguard, made her a household name. More than 100 million albums have been sold by her as a solo artist during her career. Other artists have used her tunes on tens of millions of CDs, but their sales aren’t counted.
Through generosity and entrepreneurship, Dolly has invested a sizable chunk of her fortune back in her home state of Tennessee. In terms of annual attendance, Dollywood is the 24th most popular theme park in the United States, with more than 3 million people stopping through. Hundreds of millions of dollars had been contributed or raised in support of numerous charities thanks to her efforts.
Dolly Parton Biography
As the fourth of twelve children, Dolly Rebecca Parton was conceived in Sevier County, Tennessee in 1946. Tobacco farming was in her father’s blood. Her father paid the doctor who helped deliver her with a bag of oatmeal, and she later described her family as destitute. Her early performances in the church were a frequent occurrence, as music was an important part of her upbringing.
Parton made her television debut at the age of nine on The Cas Walker Show, and she eventually signed with Louisiana’s Goldband Records, a small independent label. In 1964, Dolly moved to Nashville the day after she graduated from high school. She became a successful songwriter in a short period of time. Bill Owens, an uncle of hers, and she collaborated on a number of chart-topping hits.
Dolly Parton Career
Dolly secured a contract with Monument Records at the age of 19 in 1965. Her first positioning was as a sugary pop artist. Her early pop singles didn’t do well on the charts. Finally, Monument Records saw the light and gave up their pop ambitions for Dolly after a country song performed by another artist (Bill Phillips – with Dolly on harmony) hit number six on the country charts.
“Dumb Blonde” was Dolly Parton’s first country hit, peaking at number 24 on the country charts. This song was written by someone else, which is ironic considering she didn’t write it. It’s one of only a few songs Dolly recorded during this period that she didn’t write herself. “Something Fishy,” her follow-up song, peaked at number 17.
Dolly Parton recorded these two tracks for her 1967 debut studio album, “Hello, I’m Dolly.” Additionally, she recorded her own renditions of a number of songs that had already been recorded by other singers and had gone on to become hits. In Billboard’s Hot Country Albums chart, the album reached number eleven.
Dolly Parton Net Worth
Dolly Parton has an estimated net worth of $650 million USD.
How Porter Wagoner Help Dolly Parton
Dolly was invited to join Porter Wagoner’s syndicated weekly broadcast “The Porter Wagoner Show” in the same year. Wagoner persuaded RCA Victor to sign Dolly because he saw her skill and unrealized potential. Both Porter and Owe-publisher, Par’s Bill Owens’ nephew, purchased a 50 percent stake in the company. Consequently, Porter had a significant stake in the success of Dolly.
Her duet with Porter, “Just Because I’m a Woman,” was on her second studio album, released in 1968.
Between 1968 and 1980, Porter and Dolly released 13 studio albums as a duo. “Please Don’t Stop Loving Me” was their most popular country single, peaking at No. 1 on the country charts.
Dolly’s solo career struggled for several years to get off the ground. With the release of “Jolene” in 1973, she became a household name. In February 1974, the song climbed to the top of the country charts, and it also performed well on non-country charts around the world.
The song would go on to be ranked by Rolling Stone as the 217th greatest song of all time. According to Dolly, of all the songs she’s written, most versions of “Jolene” have been recorded by different artists.
Dolly parted ways with Porter Wagoner in April 1974, although he continued to create her songs until the end of the year.
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I Will Always Love You
‘I Will Always Love You’ was Dolly Parton’s first attempt at a song in 1973. They had been working together professionally for seven years when she composed the song as a farewell to Porter Wagoner. He wanted to record it, and Dolly pondered it until Colonel Tom Parker insisted she pays up half of the song’s publishing rights. Refusing to participate, Dolly proceeded to prepare a solo version of this song.
The song peaked at number one on Billboard’s country singles list on March 18, 1974, just a few days after its release. For the movie “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” the song was re-recorded for the soundtrack and went to number one for the second time in 1982.
Clive Davis, a music producer, and Whitney Houston mentor was disappointed in an early cut of “The Bodyguard” in 1991 after seeing how little the film utilized Houston’s musical abilities. A song for Whitney to perform was requested by Clive and Kevin Costner for the movie’s climactic moment.
On his own, Costner determined that “I Will Always Love You” was the right song for the occasion. One of the best-selling songs of all time, Whitney’s rendition spent 14 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and shipped more than 20 million copies. In terms of sales, Whitney’s version is the most popular song by a female singer ever recorded.
In the early 1990s, Dolly received $10 million in royalties from Whitney’s version, which, when adjusted for inflation, amounted to $20 million. The song made her “enough money to buy Graceland,” as she would later quip. Because she owns the song and publishing rights, Dolly still makes around 8 cents for each radio play and $2 for each record sold.
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Success in the Music and Film Industries
With eight No. 1 songs between 1974 and 1980, Dolly Parton continued to have a successful career in country music. A variety show she helmed from 1976 to 1977. Her 1977 album “New Harvest… First Gathering,” which she self-produced, included a mix of pop and production. My Girl” and “Higher and Higher” were two of the R&B hits she covered on the album.
Jane Fonda and Lilly Tomlin co-starred in Dolly’s 1980 film “9 to 5” with Dolly. She also composed and sang the film’s theme song. Dolly Parton was nominated for an Academy Award and four Grammys for her song “9 to 5”. As a result, she took home two Grammys: one for the best country song and the other for best female vocal performance in the same category.
“The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” (1982) and “Rhinestone” (1984) are two more significant Dolly films, as is “Steel Magnolias” (1989).
Dolly Parton Private Life
Dolly Wed Carl Thomas Dean in 1966. Dean is a recluse. He had an asphalt road surface paving company in Nashville for most of his life. On the rare occasion that he does, it’s always with his wife. Carl, according to Parton, has only ever seen her perform in public a single time.
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Her nieces and nephews, as well as the goddaughter of Miley Cyrus, are all under the care of Parton and Dean, even though she doesn’t have any children of her own.