By Kiara Amaya
From the time of Old Hollywood to the era of social media influencers, celebrities have been incredibly influential to society. Although, to have a career in the spotlight that is both long lived and loved is a rare sight. With a homey manner, huge blonde hair, and a cartoonish quality; Dolly Parton is widely loved. Known to many as America’s longstanding sweetheart, Parton’s career goes on more than 50 years since she first entered the industry.
Songwriter, singer, actress, business woman, and humanitarian, Dolly Parton has developed her fair share of knowledge relating to being in the spotlight. Dolly has become a cultural icon whose powerful voice and cheeky disposition have established her fame for years.
Born January 19, 1946, in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, Parton grew up in a poor household in rural Appalachia. Growing up in a family of 12 children, money was stretched thin. Despite this, Parton was still able to grow up in a home full of love and music. Her family members first exposed her to music which would become her life’s joy. Her mother sang and played the guitar. Coming from a religious background, Parton grew up learning the ways of music, instruments, and performance at her church.
Her love for music started at a young age. Beloved Uncle Bill Owens gave Dolly her first real guitar and constantly helped her develop a career. The two wrote and recorded Dolly’s first song “Puppy Love” at age 11.
Since then Parton has developed a stellar reputation. Her plethora of songs are well known and loved. Including “Jolene” and “Here You Come Again.” Parton continues to dazzle her loving fans by playing about 20 instruments and having written around 3,000 songs, showing her deep devotion to the art form.
Continuing on her journey of stardom, Parton has not only been a country music icon, but has also been honored for her efforts in film, television, recording, and theatre, making Parton one of only a handful of EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony) winners.
“You’ll never do a whole lot unless you’re brave enough to try,” Dolly Parton posted on Twitter. This tweet perfectly sums up her work ethic.
Although Parton has gained fame from her incredible songwriting and sparkling persona, she has not failed to share her success with those around her. A committed philanthropist, Dolly is well known for her extended generosity. She has championed causes such as childhood literacy, environmental conservation, and healthcare.
Parton even took part in the crisis of Covid-19 and donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to fund research for a cure. In 1988, Parton established the Dollywood foundation with its goal of helping children in the region achieve educational success. That soon morphed into the Imagination Library. A non-profit organization that sends a book a month to enrolled children from birth until their first year of schooling. The Imagination Library was founded in tribute to Dolly’s illiterate father.
In addition to the Dollywood foundation, Parton has donated to a number of organizations such as the Save the Music Foundation and the Barbara Davis Center for Childhood Diabetes. This shows why she truly is America’s sweetheart.
“I’m not going to limit myself just because people won’t accept the fact that I can do something else,” Parton tweeted.
Dolly Parton’s charming nature and eccentric glam look has endeared those who look up to her as a positive and feminist role model. Although she loves her music and style, she still contributes to humanity and does not indeed limit her potential to fit into any sort of quota.