Dolly Parton is an American country music singer, guitarist, and actress known for pioneering the fusion of country and pop music styles. Known for her extravagant wigs, stunning necklines, and unmistakable voice, Dolly Parton has released more than 3,000 songs and 43 albums over time.
What is Dolly Parton’s net worth?
At the time this article is written, the American songwriter, singer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and author, Dolly Parton has a net worth of $650 million.
Dolly Parton has sold over 100 million albums over time and has been nominated twice for the Oscars and 46 times for the Grammy Awards. In 2005, she received the highest honor given to a country singer. She is the one who composed the 90’s hit “I Will Always Love You”, performed by Whitney Houston. The song was originally released in 1974.
She also ventured into business, building a theme park, Dollywood, visited by 3 million people annually. In addition, she is dedicated to charity work, launching even 20 years ago a foundation that provides free 750,000 books, monthly, to needy children around the world. She first laid the foundations of this project in her native land, thinking of her father, who was illiterate, “but he was smart”.
- Dolly Parton has raised and donated hundreds of millions of dollars to charity
- She has sold more than one hundred million albums as a solo artist
- Covers of her songs sold just the same
- Thanks only to Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton earned $20 million in royalties
- “Dollywood” theme park welcomes three million visitors every year
Childhood and teenage years
Dolly Parton was born on January 19, 1946, in Locust Ridge, Tennessee. She was one of 12 children of Robert Lee Parton, a tobacco farmer, and his homemaker wife, Avie Lee (née Owens). Money has always been a problem for her family. Parton later described her family’s condition as “down to earth.” The doctor’s payment for the future star’s birth had been a bag of oatmeal.
In her first songs, Dolly described the abject poverty of her family. Some of these songs are “Coat of Many Colors” and “In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)”. The family lived far from human settlements in a one-room cabin north of Greenbrier Valley in the Great Smoky Mountains, a predominantly Pentecostal area.
Music played an important role in Dolly’s life as one of her grandfathers was a Pentecostal priest (a so-called “holy-roller” preacher). Her first exposure to music came from her mother, who played vocals and guitar. She started singing in church at an early age. Many of her early performances were in church with her family.
Dolly received her first guitar from a relative and immediately began writing her own songs. At the age of 10, she began singing professionally, appearing on local television and radio shows in Knoxville. Parton made her Grand Ole Opry debut three years later. After graduating from high school in 1964, she moved to Nashville to launch her career as a country singer.
Porter Wagoner and “Jolene”
In 1967, her singing caught the attention of Porter Waggoner, who hired her to appear on his program, “The Porter Waggoner Show” (1961). They collaborated for 7 years, and their duets became famous. Dolly appeared with Porter Wagoner’s group at the Grand Ole Opry. They started touring and selling records. By the time her hit “Joshua” reached No. 1 in 1970, her fame had eclipsed his, and Dolly had embarked on a solo career. She left Porter Wag for good to become a solo artist in 1974.
Parton’s collaboration with Waggoner also helped land her a contract with RCA Records. After having her first country hit no. 1 in 1971 with “Joshua”, several No. 1 hits followed in the mid-’70s, including “Jolene,” a haunting single in which a woman begs another beautiful woman not to take her man, and “I Will Always Love You” – a tribute to Waggoner when Dolly broke up professionally with him.
Other country hits from this era included the ethereal “Love Is Like a Butterfly,” the provocative “The Bargain Store,” the spiritual “The Seeker,” and “All I Can Do.” For her range of works, she won the Country Music Association Award in 1975 and 1976.
In 1977, Parton had her first hit with the bittersweet ode, “Here You Come Again.” The song topped the country charts as well as #3 on the pop charts and also marked the singer/songwriter’s first Grammy Award, specifically for Best Country Vocal Performance, Female. Followed by emotional country hits no. 1, including “Heartbreaker”, “It’s All Wrong, But It’s Alright” and “Starting Over Again”, a ballad written by disco star Donna Summer.
Parton arguably reached the height of her mainstream success in the 1980s. Not only did she star alongside Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the 1980 hit comedy “9 to 5”, which marked her film debut, but she also contributed to its soundtrack. The title song, with one of the most memorable opening lines in pop music history, proved to be another #1 hit for Parton on both the pop and country charts and earned her an Academy Award nomination.
Parton then starred opposite Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise in “The Best Little Wh*rehouse” in Texas in 1982.
Over the years, Parton continued to work as an actress in a number of films and TV projects, including “Rhinestone” (1984), “Steel Magnolias” (1989), “Straight Talk” (1992), “Unlikely Angel” (1996), “Frank McKlusky, C.I.” (2002) and “Joyful Noise” (2012).
“I Will Always Love You”
In 1992, her song “I Will Always Love You” was recorded by Whitney Houston for the film “The Bodyguard”. Houston’s version catapulted Parton’s song into a new stratosphere of popularity, with the single topping the pop charts for 14 weeks and becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time.
In the early 1990s, Dolly Parton earned $10 million (approximately $20 million after adjusting for inflation) in royalties thanks to Whitney Huston’s version of “I Will Always Love You”. Later she joked that she made enough money with that song to buy Graceland. The artists make approximately $2 per album sold and $0.80 per radio play as the owner of the writing and publishing rights.
Dolly Parton and Carl Thomas Dean married in 1966, after falling in love at first sight when Parton was only 18 years old.
She has no children, and every time she was asked about this, she answered: “God had other plans for me, he wanted me to be everyone’s mother”.
She is the godmother of the famous Miley Cyrus, one of the artists with great popularity among the young audience of the time.
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