10 Dolly Parton facts every fan should know

23 June 2018, 15:02

Dolly Parton is one of the most iconic and successful country singers of all time.

Even if you're not a massive country fan, you'll no doubt have heard of Dolly Parton.

Here are all the big facts about Dolly that all fans should know...

1. What are Dolly Parton's biggest songs?

Dolly has composed over 3,000 songs, including 'I Will Always Love You', which became a huge hit for Whitney Houston in 1992.

Her other big hits include 'Jolene', 'Coat of Many Colours', 'Islands in the Stream' (with Kenny Rogers), and '9 to 5'.

2. How many albums has Dolly Parton released?

Since 1967, Dolly has released 43 studio albums. Her most recent was 2016's Pure and Simple.

And that's not including her live, Christmas and children's albums!

3. How old is Dolly Parton?

Dolly was born on January 19, 1946.

She celebrates her 73rd birthday in 2019.

4. Who is Dolly Parton's husband?

In 1966, Dolly married Carl Dean. He is a retired asphalt road-paving businessman, who prefers to stay out of the limelight.

While Dolly does not use Dean's surname professionally, she has said that her passport says 'Dolly Parton Dean'. She has also said that he has seen her perform only once. 

In 2011, the couple celebrated their 45th anniversary. Dolly said: "We're really proud of our marriage. It's the first for both of us. And the last." In 2016, she announced that she and her husband would renew their vows to mark their 50th wedding anniversary later in the month.

5. Does Dolly Parton have any children?

Dolly and Dean helped raise several of Dolly's younger siblings in Nashville, with her nieces and nephews referring to her as 'Aunt Granny', which became the name to one of the singer's Dollywood restaurants.

The couple have no children of their own, but Dolly is the godmother of singer Miley Cyrus.

6. Who were Dolly Parton's parents and family?

Dolly is the fourth of 12 children born to Avie Lee Caroline (née Owens, 1923 – 2003) and Robert Lee Parton Sr (1921 – 2000). Her father was a subsistence farmer and construction worker, and her mother was a homemaker for their large family. Her 11 pregnancies between 1939 and 1959 made her a mother of 12 by the age of 35.

Dolly's middle name comes from her maternal great-great grandmother, Rebecca. She has described her family as being "dirt poor".

7. What was Dolly Parton's relationship with Porter Wagoner?

In 1967, country star Porter Wagoner invited Dolly to join his company, offering her a regular spot on his weekly TV series The Porter Wagoner Show, and in his live road show.

Wagoner convinced his label, RCA Victor, to sign her. They recorded several albums and singles together, and became one of the country's most popular and successful double acts.

Dolly had always wanted a solo career, and decided to leave Wagoner's company. Their last duet concert took place in April 1974, and she left his TV show in mid-1974. Their last album together was 1975's Say Forever You'll Be Mine.

Wagoner died in 2007 at the age of 80. Dolly was at his bedside alongside his family. 'I Will Always Love You' was written about her professional break up from Wagoner.

8. What movies has Dolly Parton starred in?

Dolly's first big movie role was 1980's 9 to 5 alongside Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda, which featured her hit song of the same name. The film won her several Golden Globe and Oscar nominations.

She has also appeared in the movies The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Rhinestone and Steel Magnolias.

9. What is Dollywood?

Dollywood is a theme park located in the Knoxville-Smoky Mountains metroplex in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. It is the biggest ticketed tourist attraction in the state.

Originally called Rebel Railroad in 1961, and later Goldrush Junction and Silver Dollar City, it was renamed Dollywood after the singer bought an interest in 1986. In 2010, Dolly said she became involved with the project because she "always thought that if I made it big or got successful at what I had started out to do, that I wanted to come back to my part of the country and do something great, something that would bring a lot of jobs into this area."

The park has several thrill rides, traditional crafts and music of the Smoky Mountains area, as well as concerts and musical events each year, including appearances by Dolly and her family, and other national and local musical acts.

10. What is Dolly Parton's net worth?

Dolly Parton is estimated to be worth a huge $500m (£367m).