Music, Movies, & TV

Dolly Parton's Successful Career

Jan 22, 2023 ByAndrew Parker

Dolly Rebecca Parton (Dolly Parton), born on January 19, 1946, is an American songwriter, businesswoman, actress, and philanthropist. Dolly Parton is one of the most successful country singers of all time and has achieved massive success in the United States and internationally. She is best known for her work in the country music genre, but she has also dabbed in other genres, such as pop and gospel. Her career has spanned over five decades and sold over 100 million records. After finding success as a songwriter for others, she made her debut album in 1967 with ‘Hello, I’m Dotty,’ which led to success throughout the 1960s before reaching her sales and chart peak in the 1970s and continuing into the 1980s.

Dolly Parton was born into a poor peasant family, the fourth of 12 children. She showed a talent and interest in music from an early age. As a child, she was featured as a singer and guitarist on local television shows and radio in Knoxville. Shortly after graduating high school, she moved to Nashville to pursue a career in music. Her first success came as a songwriter signing with Combine Publishing shortly after her arrival with her constant songwriting partner, her uncle Bill Owen; she wrote several chart singles during those periods, including two Top 10 hits: Bill Phillip’s “Put It Until Tomorrow” (1966) and Skeeter Davis’s “Fuel to the Flame” (1967). During the 1980s, Parton appeared in several successful films, notably nine to five (1980) and The Best Whorehouse in Texas (1982), for which she sang one of her most famous songs, “I Will Always Love You.”

Country singer Dolly Parton performs at Georgia Tech's Alexander Memorial Coliseum on October 22, 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Getty Images/WireImage/Tom Hill

In addition to her stage and film work, Parton has been involved in several other projects. In 1986, in the Great Smoky Mountains of eastern Tennessee, she opened Dollywood – a theme park focused on Appalachian traditions. Two years later, she founded the Dollywood Foundation, which is dedicated to providing children with inspiration and educational resources. Dolly Parton is one of the most popular female artists of all time. The Record Industry Association of America has certified 25 of her singles or albums as Gold, Platinum, or Multi-Platinum records.