Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dolly Parton
From bubblegum pop singer to Queen of Country Music

Dolly Parton is an American singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, author and philanthropist. During her impressively successful career, she has accumulated two Oscar nominations, eight Grammy Awards (45 nominations), 42 Top Ten country music albums and more than 100 chart singles.

Born on 19 January 1946 in Sevierville (Tennessee) in a dirt-poor family, Dolly Rebecca Parton went on to become one of the most famous country music singers of all time. She grew up in a one-room run-down shack as one of 12 children. Her difficult childhood experiences are reflected in some of her earliest lyrics (e.g. “Coat of Many Colors”). Dolly began performing at the age of 12 on several local television and radio programs, among which the Grand Ole Opry.

After having graduated in 1964, Dolly moved to Nashville where she first became successful as a songwriter. In 1966 she married Carl Dean, who worked for an asphalt road-surface-paving business in Nashville. He is very reclusive and has only seen her perform live once in the 45 years they have been together.

In 1967, Parton recorded her first album “Hello, I’m Dolly”, containing two singles which reached the top 25 on the country music charts. Her singing was noticed by Porter Wagoner, who hired her as a regular on “The Porter Wagoner Show”. Their duets became famous, but Dolly’s success eventually overshadowed his. Her song “I Will Always Love You” talks about her professional break from Wagoner in 1974.

After getting mixed reviews for her first self-produced album “New Harvest…First Gathering” in 1977, Dolly turned to pop producer Gary Klein for “Here You Come Again” which earned her a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. The singer continued her string of number one hits with the Academy Award-winning “Nine to Five” which became the theme song of the film of the same name in which she starred alongside Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin.

In 1987, along with Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt, she released the critically acclaimed album Trio. That same year, Dolly was introduced into the Country Music Hall of Fame. She also recorded a series of bluegrass albums, starting with “The Grass Is Blue” (1999).

With “Travelin’Thru”, written for the film “Transamerica” in 2005, she earned her second Academy Award nomination. However, Dolly also received death threats because of her complete acceptance of a transgender woman in the song.

Her latest and 43rd country-music album, “Better day”, was released in June 2011. In addition to that, Dolly stars with Queen Latifah in the film “Joyful Noise”, which is set to come out in 2012.

Parton, dubbed The Queen of Country Music, has also branched out into business and entertainment with, for example, her theme park “Dollywood”. She also runs “Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library”, her own literacy programme, which gives out more than 2.5 million books to children per year.

Besides her success in music and film and her philanthropic efforts, she is best-known for her recourse to plastic surgery and her wigs. Dolly herself once said: “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap.”

Dolly Parton is one of the most honoured female country music artists of all

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