No one would deny Dolly Parton’s role as a country music legend. Her sparkling personality, sweet voice and musical talents have become iconic. Let’s look back at her changing looks over 50 years.
Dolly was born in 1946 and had 11 siblings. Her father worked in a logging camp and her mother was a preachers daughter. The family’s life was not comfortable: they even made their own soap.
Dolly’s love for music was greatly influenced by her mother, who had a great mountain voice. At the age of 10, Dolly started singing and playing guitar on local TV and radio shows.
When Dolly made her first appearance at the Grand Ole Opry in 1959, she got the chance to meet Johnny Cash. He encouraged her to follow her heart.
Dolly moved to Nashville after she graduated in 1964. It was there she met a man who would become her husband.
In 1966 and 1967, she wrote several charting singles including “Fuel to the Flame.” Her songs were recorded by many other artists during this period, including Kitty Wells and Hank Williams Jr.
In 1967, Porter Wagoner invited Dolly to be the new female vocalist on the Porter Wagoner Show. In 1973, she had two rapid-fire Number One songs with “Jolene” and “Love Is Like A Butterfly.”
That same year she decided that she wanted to step out on her own, but Wagner wouldn’t agree to it, so she wrote the iconic song “I will always love you” to explain things to him.
From 1974 to 1980, she consistently charted in the country Top 10, with eight singles reaching number one.
From 1977, Parton’s switching to pop surprised her core fanbase. “Here You Come Again” became her first million-seller and topped the country album chart!
In the 1980s, Dolly had her first movie debut in the comedy 9 to 5, co-starring Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. The theme song “9 to 5” earned her an Academy Award nomination.
Dolly appeared on the cover of Playboy – bunny ears, cleavage, bow tie and all. But she wouldn’t take her clothes off for the famous magazine.
Their song “Islands in the Stream” in 1983 was a hit. Fans at the time speculated as to whether they had an affair, but Rogers said the pair were just wonderful friends.
Dolly freely admits that she has had plastic surgery. She jokes that “it took a lot of money to look as cheap as I look.”
Dolly and Carl Dean have been together ever since 1966. The couple renewed their vows on May 30, 2016 on their 50th wedding anniversary.
Dolly has never forgotten what it was like to grow up in an impoverished region. She founded the Dollywood Foundation, which emails one book every month to children in Tennessee, from birth to five years old.