Country singer, born on January 19, 1946, in Sevier County, Tennessee. She grew up in poverty, and left school in 1964 to pursue her music career.

She had her first chart hit in 1967, with "Dumb Blonde". She co-starred on the Porter Wagoner TV show from 1967 to 1974.

She has since charted over 100 country singles, including over two dozen #1 hits. Her biggest U.S. pop hits are "9 to 5" (the title song from a movie she starred in), and "Islands In The Stream," a duet with Kenny Rogers. She also wrote the ubiquitous "I Will Always Love You," which was a huge pop hit for Whitney Houston.

Dolly Parton was the fourth of 12 children born to a farmer father and a half Cherokee mother. The family was indeed very poor, but music helped them forget the poverty. Dolly's (her real name by the way) mother played guitar and her grandfather, the Reverend Jake Owens was a fiddler and songwriter. Dolly was given a guitar at age seven, and within a few years became a regular on WIVK Knoxville's The Cas Walker Farm and Home Hour. She recorded her first single Puppy Love in 1959 at age 13, and signed her first record deal at age 15 with Mercury Records. Dolly continued to attend high school, playing snare drum in the school's marching band.

After high school, Dolly moved to Nashville and in 1967, Dolly began to see some success. She joined forces with Porter Wagoner and they performed as a duo for awhile, but she had little luck as a solo performer until 1974 when she had her first big solo hit with Jolene. She quit traveling with Wagoner after that, and had many more top ten hits in the next decade.

Dolly branched out into other types of music than country western, and also into other types of businesses. She opened her own theme park in 1985, Dollywood which continues to be successful today. She expanded her music to include pop music, and in 1991 began acting in movies.

While the other write-ups on Dolly Parton are factual, they omit the perhaps best-known fact about Ms Parton: her physical attributes (a euphemism for her infamous breasts).

Dolly Parton is tiny, only 5' (153cm) tall barefoot, and 6'1" in heels and tall hair, her trademark look. As a result of her small frame, her 40DD breasts look very out of proportion to her body. However, Dolly's weight fluctuates dramatically, and she has been known to have even larger, or smaller, breasts. In spite of the size changes, it is rumoured that Dolly's breasts are insured for US$600,000.

According to various sources (including the Dolly Parton fan site), Dolly has implants, but she has claimed that she is 100% natural. Interviews have revealed that she is miserable with such a large chest: insufferable back and neck pain and constant headaches almost cripple her, and she has to wear a bra to bed to avoid worse pain and sagging. According to the same interviews, Dolly is afraid that a breast reduction would also reduce her fan base, as her breasts are her trademark.

Some random non-breast related trivia about Dolly:

  • Dolly uses a butterfly as her logo, as she believes it is a symbol of beauty and freedom.
  • Ms Parton has said she'll do a shoot for Penthouse on her 100th birthday, but she has not posed for Playboy, as some rumours claim. Any pictures of Dolly naked are fakes, as is the porn movie which stars a look-alike.
  • Despite rumours which have circulated since an appearance on the cover of Out magazine, Dolly is not gay. She has been married to Carl Dean since 1966, and Judy Ogle, the woman she was rumoured to have been involved with, has been a friend since childhood and is now her personal assistant.
  • There was once a Dolly Parton Cosmetics range, made by Revlon, but poor sales resulted in the withdrawal of the products from most stores. Now the make-up is available only at Dollywood.
  • Dolly has twice tried to start a television career for herself. In 1994, CBS was set to make "Heavens to Betsy", a sitcom in which Dolly was an angel sent down from heaven to help people (much like Touched By an Angel, but with bigger hair and wilder, tighter clothes). In 1996, "Minding My Own Business" was on the drawing board: a sitcom about a caterer (played, of course, by Dolly) who gets into all sorts of wacky situations with her celebrity guest stars. CBS canned this show as well. What a pity.

Dolly Parton is known for founding the Imagination Library in 1996. The Imagination Library project was started as a service to preschoolers in Sevier County, Tennessee. From the day they are born, children who register for the program receive a free book every month until their fifth birthday. Any preschooler living in the community may enter the program at any time and begin receiving an age-appropriate book every month until his or her fifth birthday.

Under the expansion guidelines for the Imagination Library program, any community in the United States is invited to replicate the project.

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