Dolly Parton is celebrating her 72nd birthday with a surprise – or two surprises, to be precise – as she was awarded two Guinness World Records honouring her lengthy career in country music.
The legendary singer, who turned 72 years old on Friday (January 19th), was given the first prize for the most decades with a Top 20 hit on the US Country Songs chart (six), and the second for the most hits on the US Hot Country Songs chart by a female artist (107).
She has now enjoyed a career that spans six decades, longer than other legendary names who have dealt exclusively or dabbled in country music, such as Reba McEntire, George Jones and Elvis Presley.
Parton registered her first Top 20 hit with ‘Something Fishy’ way back in the summer of 1967. Her most recent hit was in 2016, when an updated version of her 1973 classic ‘Jolene’ with a-capella group Pentatonix went into the Top 20.
In addition to her illustrious music career, Parton has also starred in several dozen movies and television series, as well as the stage – making her one of the few people to have ever received Oscar, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards. Oh, and then there’s Dollywood…
“To receive these two Guinness World Records is so great. Joining so many wonderful singers and songwriters who have been honoured this way feels so special to me,” Parton said to the Guinness World Records organisation while accepting the awards in Nashville the day before her birthday.
“You never know when you start out with your work how it’s going to turn out, but to have these two world records makes me feel very humbled and blessed!”
About the source of her inspiration, Parton explained: “I've always just written from my heart. I try not to dwell on just trying to be commercial and what's a radio hit. Usually when an idea hits me, it comes from my heart.”