When it comes to living legends, there are very few names that carry the same weight and resonance as that of Dolly Parton.
From her humble beginnings, right on up until today, Dolly has continued to be an amazing worldwide phenomenon — one that has dazzled and delighted music lovers for generations.
While Dolly has been quite busy as of late — like with this made-for-TV movie about her life — there is perhaps no greater occasion to celebrate her massive successes than her birthday, January 19th.
And as if Dolly’s birthday wasn’t a big enough event already, this year marks a particularly special one: her 70th!
Scroll through below for a look at one of the world’s most influential women and talented performers.
Together, we honor Dolly as she celebrates her 70th birthday. The world would not be the same without her.
Are you a Dolly fan? Let us know in the comments.
Dolly herself posted this childhood photo on Twitter with the caption, “Can you believe that little thing grew up to be little ‘ole me?”
Born exactly 70 years ago on January 19, 1946, Dolly Rebecca Parton was an impressive talent from the very start.
As a child, she performed on the Cas Walker radio show and recorded several singles at the extremely early age of 13.
In 1964, with her career fast-tracked for success, Dolly moved to Nashville, TN, the day after her high school graduation.
Within two years, she married the love of her life, Carl Dean. Dolly didn’t realize it at the time, but her marriage would stay quite strong. In fact, she and Carl will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary this May!
Wikipedia quotes Dolly as saying, “We’re really proud of our marriage. It’s the first for both of us. And the last.”
Dolly quickly found success in Nashville as a songwriter. She wrote songs that were recorded by icons of the country music scene such as Hank Williams Jr.
But Dolly’s love of performing drove her to step out into the spotlight as well. After briefly dabbling in pop music, Dolly began shaping herself into one of the most famous names in country music history.
Dolly joined Porter Wagoner in 1967 as part of the hit TV show, The Porter Wagoner Show.
As reported on her own website, Dolly would later say about Porter, “We could all relate to his sense of humor and his ‘good ol’ boy’ ways. I could relate to his shiny bright costumes, his flashy smile, and his blond helmet.”
The show quickly became the number one syndicated show in all of America, with regular musical performances by Dolly, Porter, and a slew of special guests.
During this time, Dolly had several solo hits, as well as several hit duets with Porter.
After splitting from Porter professionally in 1974, she was inspired to write one of the greatest songs of all time: “I Will Always Love You.”
The same year that “I Will Always Love You” was number one on the country charts, Dolly also had two other solo singles reach the top: “Jolene” and “Love Is Like A Butterfly.”
In the years that followed, Dolly would go on to receive eight Grammy awards. She would also have 25 of her songs hit the top of the country music charts.
Dolly is currently tied with Beyoncé for the most Grammy nominations by a female at the unbelievable total of 46.
In addition to her music career, Dolly has dabbled in acting as well. She starred in quite a few movies including 9 to 5, Steel Magnolias, A Smoky Mountain Christmas, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
While her acting was certainly praised, it was her music-writing skills that earned her two separate Oscar nominations for Best Original Song.
So much of Dolly’s music, performance, and philanthropic work has had a profound influence on the world.
She’s been able to bring joy to the world with her music and her world-famous theme park, Dollywood, and her reach has even extended into theater with her hit Broadway musical 9 to 5.
She has also been extremely active in charity work, with her Imagination Library promoting literacy by giving away over 10 million books to children every year.
70 years after she was born into what she called a “dirt poor” family in Sevier County, Tennessee, Dolly remains one of the most celebrated names in the music industry.
Not only has Dolly become a household name, but she has become a role model for young women across the globe.
While some may disagree about their favorite Dolly song, certainly everyone can resoundingly say that Dolly is an absolute legend.
The world joins together this day to deliver Dolly a resounding “Happy 70th Birthday!” and wishes her a great many more to come.
What would you want to say to Dolly on her 70th birthday? Let us know in the comments.
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