There’s a lot to learn about the queen of country.
This Sunday, (June 29th) country legend Dolly Parton will be making her Glastonbury debut at the festival’s iconic Pyramid stage. The 68 year old singer has had one of the longest careers in music, but with her latest tour Blue Smoke, she’s showing no signs of slowing down. So in celebration of Dolly and her extraordinary career, here’s 10 things you might not know about the queen of country.
Dolly Parton will play Glastonbury this Sunday
1. Dolly started very young
Dolly was only 7 when she wrote her first song and was appearing on radio from the age of 9. Her first record ‘Puppy Love’ was recorded when she was just 13 years old, meaning Dolly’s been making music for an incredible 55 years.
2. She’s from a big family
If you think there’s too many members of the Kardashian clan you might want to look at the Partons. Dolly is the fourth of twelve children born to a Tennessee tobacco farmer. The Partons grew up in poverty and the harsh conditions influenced many of Dolly’s early songs including ‘Coat of Many Colours’.
3. She’s been married for nearly 50 years
Dolly met her husband Carl Thomas Dean in a laundromat in 1964 and the pair have been together ever since. Carl is more than happy to give his wife the spotlight as he quietly owns an asphalt business in Nashville away from the limelight.
4. She’s a prolific songwriter
Dolly might be known for her over the top image but she’s also a very serious songwriter, who’s estimated to have written over 5,000 songs. Other than her hits ‘Jolene’ and ‘9 to 5’, she was also the writer and original singer of ‘I Will Always Love You’ which Whitney Houston covered for the Bodyguard soundtrack.
5. She turned down Elvis Presley
Long before Whitney covered ‘I Will Always Love You’, the King himself wanted to have a go at the song. However Presley also wanted half of the publishing rights and Dolly refused. Always a smart business woman, she decided she’d rather keep her royalties than have Elvis record a song that she’d already made a hit.
6. She has her own theme park
Some people dream of opening their own theme park, imagine all the fun you could have? Well twenty years ago Dolly made that dream a reality when she opened the fantastically named ‘Dollywood’ in Tennessee. However don’t expect to be getting on a roller coaster next to Dolly any time soon, the singer has admitted that she’s too terrified to get on most of the rides.
7. She lent her name to a cloned sheep
In 1996 the world’s first cloned mammal, a sheep, was christened Dolly after the country queen herself. The reason behind the tribute had a lot to do with Dolly’s famous assets, scientist Ian Wilmut said, “Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell, and we couldn’t think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton’s.” Suddenly it all seem slightly more creepy.
8. Dolly has a few tattoos
There’s a long standing rumour that the reason you never see Dolly Parton’s arms is because she’s actually covered in tattoos! However Dolly has denied this, but admitted that she does have “a few little tattoos”, which were mostly done to cover scars.
9. She lost a Dolly Parton look-a-like contest…to a man
You might think Dolly is one of the most recognisable women in show business, but it seems this isn't always true. The singer once entered a Dolly Parton look-a-like contest one Halloween and lost out to a man. In a 2009 interview she told the story, saying, "I just overexaggerated my look and went in and just walked up on stage. … I didn't win. I didn't even come in close."
How many tattoos is Dolly Parton hiding?
10. She’s Miley’s godmother!
Miley Cyrus has been accused of needing some parental guidance before and who better to get it form than her godmother Dolly Parton? Miley has admitted to idolising Dolly for her longevity and business acumen. Dolly has also been supportive of her goddaughter and has come to her defence over her raunchy image, saying the singer was “just trying to find her own place and wings and learn to fly.”
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