Thursday, April 19, 2012
) is an American singer-songwriter, author, multi-instrumentalist, actress and philanthropist, best known for her work in country music. As a songwriter, she has composed over 3,000 songs, the best known of which include "I Will Always Love You" (a two-time U.S. country chart-topper for Parton, as well an international pop hit for Whitney Houston), "Jolene", "Coat of Many Colors", "9 to 5" and "My Tennessee Mountain Home". As an actress, she starred in the movies 9 to 5, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Steel Magnolias, Straight Talk, Unlikely Angel and Joyful Noise. She is one of the most successful female country artists of all time; with an estimated 100 million in album sales, Dolly Parton is also one of the best selling artists of all time. She is known as "The Queen of Country Music".
Early yearsShe was born in Sevierville, Tennessee, the fourth of twelve children of Avie Lee Parton (née Owens; October 5, 1923 – December 5, 2003) and Robert Lee Parton (March 22, 1921 – November 12, 2000), a tobacco farmer. Her siblings are: Willadeene Parton (born March 24, 1940) David Wilburn Parton (born March 30, 1942) Coy Denver "Denver" Parton (born August 16, 1943) Bobby Lee Parton (born February 18, 1948) Stella Mae Parton (born May 4, 1949) Cassie Nan Parton (February 12, 1951) Randel Huston "Randy" Parton (born December 15, 1953) Larry Gerald Parton (born and died July 6, 1955) Floyd and Frieda Estelle Parton (born June 1, 1957) Rachel Ann Parton (born August 31, 1959). Her family was, as she has described them, "dirt poor". She outlined her family's lack of money in a number of her early songs, notably "Coat of Many Colors" and "In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)". They lived in a rustic, dilapidated one-room cabin in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, a hamlet just north of the Greenbrier Valley, in the Locust Ridge area of the Great Smoky Mountains in Sevier County, a predominantly Pentecostal area.
Music played an important role in her early life, and her grandfather was a Pentecostal "holy-roller" preacher. When appearing in live concerts, she frequently performs spiritual songs.
Career discoveryDolly Parton began performing as a child, singing on local radio and television programs in the Eastern Tennessee area. By age nine, she was appearing on The Cas Walker Show on both WIVK Radio and WBIR-TV in Knoxville, Tennessee. At thirteen, she was recording (the single "Puppy Love") on a small Louisiana label, Goldband Records, and appeared at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. It was at the Opry where she first met Johnny Cash who encouraged her to go where her heart took her, and not to care what others thought. The day after she graduated from high school in 1964, Parton moved to Nashville taking many traditional elements of folklore and popular music from East Tennessee with her.
Parton's initial success came as a songwriter, writing two top ten hits with her uncle Bill Owens: Bill Phillips's "Put it Off Until Tomorrow" and Skeeter Davis' 1967 hit "Fuel to the Flame". She also wrote a minor chart hit for Hank Williams Jr during this period. She had signed with Monument Records in late 1965, where she was initially pitched as a bubblegum pop singer, earning only one national-chart single, "Happy, Happy Birthday Baby," which did not crack the Billboard Hot 100.
The label agreed to let Parton sing country music after her composition, "Put It Off Until Tomorrow," as recorded by Bill Phillips (and with Parton, uncredited, on harmony), went to number six on the country music charts in 1966. Her first country single, "Dumb Blonde" (one of the few songs during this era that she recorded but did not write), reached number twenty-four on the country music charts in 1967, followed the same year with "Something Fishy," which went to number seventeen. The two songs anchored her first full-length album, Hello, I'm Dolly.
MarriageOn May 30, 1966, she and Carl Thomas Dean were married in Ringgold, Georgia. She had met Dean at the Wishy-Washy Laundromat two years earlier on her first day in Nashville. His very first words to her were: "Y'all gonna get sunburnt out there, little lady."
Dean, who runs an asphalt road-surface-paving business in Nashville, has always shunned publicity and rarely accompanies her to any events. According to Parton, he has only ever seen her perform once. However, she has also commented in interviews that, although it appears they do not spend much time together, it is simply that nobody sees him. She also commented on Dean's romantic side claiming that he will often do spontaneous things to surprise her, and sometimes even writes her poems.
The couple partly raised several of Parton's younger siblings at their home in Nashville, leading her nieces and nephews to refer to her as "Aunt Granny". She has no children of her own. Parton is also the godmother of actress and singer Miley Cyrus.
On May 30, 2011, they celebrated their 45th anniversary. Later, she said, "We're really proud of our marriage. It's the first for both of us. And the last."
1967–75: Country music successIn 1967, country entertainer Porter Wagoner invited Parton to join his organization, offering her a regular spot on his weekly syndicated television program The Porter Wagoner Show, as well as in his road show.
As in Her 1994 Autobiography, Initially, much of Wagoner's audience was unhappy that Norma Jean, the performer whom Parton had replaced, had left the show, and was reluctant to accept Parton (sometimes chanting loudly for Norma Jean from the audience). With Wagoner's assistance, however, Parton was eventually accepted. Wagoner also convinced his label, RCA Victor, to sign Parton. RCA decided to protect their investment by releasing her first single as a duet with Wagoner. That song, a cover of Tom Paxton's "The Last Thing on My Mind," released in late 1967, reached the country top ten in January 1968, launching a six-year streak of virtually uninterrupted top-ten singles for the pair.
Parton's first solo single for RCA, "Just Because I'm a Woman," was released in the summer of 1968 and was a moderate chart hit, reaching number seventeen. For the remainder of the decade, none of her solo efforts – even "In the Good Old Days (When Times Were Bad)," which later became a standard – were as successful as her duets with Wagoner. The duo was named Vocal Group of the Year in 1968 by the Country Music Association, but Parton's solo records were continually ignored. Wagoner and Parton were both frustrated by her lack of solo success, because he had a significant financial stake in her future: as of 1969, he was her co-producer and owned nearly half of Owepar, the publishing company Parton had founded with Bill Owens.
By 1970, both Parton and Wagoner had grown frustrated by her lack of solo chart success, and Porter had her record Jimmie Rodgers' "Mule Skinner Blues", a gimmick that worked. The record shot to number three on the charts, followed closely, in February 1971, by her first number-one single, "Joshua." For the next two years, she had a number of solo hits – including her signature song "Coat of Many Colors" (number four in 1971) – in addition to her duets. Though she had successful singles, none of them were blockbusters until "Jolene". Released in late 1973, the song topped the singles chart in February 1974 (it eventually also charted in the UK, reaching No. 7 in 1976, representing Parton's first UK success). Parton and Wagoner performed their last duet concert in April 1974, and she ceased appearing on his TV show in mid-1974, though they remained affiliated, with him helping to produce her records through 1975. The pair continued to release duet albums, their final release being 1975's Say Forever You'll Be Mine.
In 1974, her song, "I Will Always Love You," written about her professional break from Wagoner, went to number one on the country music charts. Around the same time, Elvis Presley indicated that he wanted to cover the song. Parton was interested until Presley's manager, Colonel Tom Parker, told her that it was standard procedure for the songwriter to sign over half of the publishing rights to any song Elvis recorded.Parton refused, and that decision is credited with helping to make her many millions of dollars in royalties from the song over the years.
1976–86: Branching out into pop musicFrom 1974 to 1980, she consistently charted in the country Top 10, with no fewer than eight singles reaching number one. Parton had her own syndicated-television variety show, Dolly! (1976–1977). During this period, many performers, including Rose Maddox, Kitty Wells, Olivia Newton-John, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt, covered her songs, and her siblings Randy and Stella all received recording contracts of their own.
It was also during this period that Parton began to embark on a high-profile crossover campaign, attempting to aim her music in a more-mainstream direction and increase her visibility outside of the confines of country music. In 1976, she signed with the Los Angeles public-relations firm Katz-Gallin-Morey, working closely with Sandy Gallin, who served as her personal manager for the next twenty-five years.
With her 1976 album All I Can Do, co-produced by herself with Porter Wagoner, Parton began taking more of an active role in production, and began specifically aiming her music in a more mainstream, pop direction. Her first entirely self-produced effort, 1977's New Harvest ... First Gathering, highlighted Parton's pop sensibilities, both in terms of choice of songs—the album contained covers of the pop and R&B classics "My Girl" and "Higher and Higher" – and the album's production. While receiving generally favorable reviews, however, the album did not achieve the crossover success Parton had hoped for. Though it topped the country albums charts, it stalled at No. 71 on the pop albums chart; the album's single, "Light of a Clear Blue Morning" only reached No. 87 on the Hot 100.
After New Harvest's disappointing chart performance, Parton turned to high profile pop producer Gary Klein for her next album. The result, 1977's Here You Come Again, became her first million-seller, topping the country albums chart and reaching No. 20 on the pop albums chart; the Barry Mann-Cynthia Weil-penned title track topped the country singles chart, and became Parton's first top-ten single on the pop charts (reaching number three). A second single, the double A-sided single "Two Doors Down"/"It's All Wrong But It's All Right" also topped the country singles chart and crossed over to the pop top twenty. For the remainder of the 1970s and into the early 1980s, many of Parton's subsequent singles charted on both pop and country charts, simultaneously. Her albums during this period were developed specifically for pop-crossover success.
In 1978, Parton won a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for her Here You Come Again album. She continued to have hits with "Heartbreaker" (1978), "Baby I'm Burning" and "You're the Only One" (both 1979), all of which charted in the pop singles Top 40, and all of which also topped the country-singles chart; 1979's "Sweet Summer Lovin'" became the first Parton single in two years to not top the country singles chart (though it still nonetheless reached the top ten). During this period, Parton's visibility continued to increase, with television appearances in 1977, 1978 and 1979. A highly publicized candid interview on a Barbara Walters Special in December 1977 (timed to coincide with Here You Come Again's release) was followed by appearances in 1978 on Cher's ABC television special, and her own joint special with Carol Burnett on CBS, Carol and Dolly in Nashville. She also served as one of three co-hosts (along with Roy Clark and Glen Campbell) on the CBS special Fifty Years of Country Music. In 1979, Parton hosted the NBC special The Seventies: An Explosion of Country Music, performed live at the Ford Theatre in Washington, D.C., and whose audience included President Jimmy Carter.
Parton's commercial success continued to grow during 1980, with three number-one hits in a row: the Donna Summer-written "Starting Over Again", "Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You", and "9 to 5," which topped the country and pop charts in early 1981.
With less time to spend songwriting as she focused on a burgeoning film career, during the early 1980s Parton recorded a larger percentage of material from noted pop songwriters, such as Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, Rupert Holmes, Gary Portnoy and Carole Bayer Sager.
9 to 5", the theme song to the feature film Nine to Five (1980) Parton starred in along with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin, not only reached number one on the country charts, but also, in February 1981, reached number one on the pop and the adult-contemporary charts, giving her a triple-number-one hit. Parton became one of the few female country singers to have a number-one single on the country and pop charts simultaneously. It also received a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Original Song.
Parton's singles continued to appear consistently in the country Top 10: between 1981 and 1985, she had 12 Top 10 hits; half of those were number-one singles. Parton continued to make inroads on the pop charts as well with a re-recorded version of "I Will Always Love You" from the feature film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982) scraping the Top 50 that year and her duet with Kenny Rogers, "Islands in the Stream" (written by the Bee Gees and produced by Barry Gibb), spent two weeks at number one in 1983. Other chart hits during this period included Parton's chart-topping cover of the 1969 First Edition hit "But You Know I Love You" and "The House of the Rising Sun" (both 1981), "Single Women", "Heartbreak Express" and "Hard Candy Christmas" (1982) and 1983's "Potential New Boyfriend," which was accompanied by one of Parton's first music videos, and which also reached the U.S. dance charts.
She also continued to explore new business and entertainment ventures such as her Dollywood theme park, that opened in 1986 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
By the mid-1980s, her record sales were still relatively strong, with "Save the Last Dance for Me", "Downtown", "Tennessee Homesick Blues" (all 1984); "Real Love" (another duet with Kenny Rogers), "Don't Call It Love" (both 1985); and "Think About Love" (1986) all reaching the country-singles Top 10. ("Tennessee Homesick Blues" and "Think About Love" reached number one. "Real Love" also reached number one on the country-singles chart and also became a modest pop-crossover hit). However, RCA Records did not renew her contract after it expired that year, and she signed with Columbia Records in 1987.
1987–94: Return to country rootsAlong with Harris and Ronstadt, she released the decade-in-the-making Trio (1987) to critical acclaim. The album strongly revitalized Parton's somewhat stagnant music career, spending five weeks at number one on Billboard's Country Albums chart, selling several million copies and producing four Top 10 country hits including Phil Spector's "To Know Him Is to Love Him," which went to number one. Trio won the Grammy Award for Best Country Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Album of the Year. In 1987, she revived her television variety show, Dolly.
After a further attempt at pop success with 1987's Rainbow, Parton refocused on recording country material. White Limozeen (1989) produced two number-one hits in "Why'd You Come in Here Lookin' Like That" and "Yellow Roses". Although it looked like Parton's career had been revived, it was actually just a brief revival before contemporary country music came in the early 1990s and moved all veteran artists out of the charts.
A duet with Ricky Van Shelton, "Rockin' Years" (1991) reached number one but Parton's greatest commercial fortune of the decade came when Whitney Houston recorded "I Will Always Love You" for the soundtrack of the feature film The Bodyguard (1992); both the single and the album were massively successful.
She recorded "The Day I Fall In Love" as a duet with James Ingram for the feature film Beethoven's 2nd (1993). The songwriters (Sager, Ingram, and Clif Mangess) were nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song and Parton and Ingram performed the song on the awards telecast.
Similar to her earlier collabrative album with Harris and Ronstadt, Parton recorded Honky Tonk Angels (1994) with Loretta Lynn and Tammy Wynette. It was certified as Gold Album by the Recording Industry Association of America and helped revive both Wynette's and Lynn's careers.
Also in 1994, Parton contributed the song "You Gotta Be My Baby" to the AIDS benefit album Red Hot + Country produced by the Red Hot Organization.
1995–presentVince Gill on her album Something Special for which they won the Country Music Association's Vocal Event of the Year Award.
A second and more contemporary collaboration with Harris and Ronstadt, Trio II (1999), was released and its cover of Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush" won a Grammy Award for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals. Parton was also inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999.
She recorded a series of bluegrass-inspired albums, beginning with The Grass Is Blue (1999), winning a Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album, and Little Sparrow (2001), with its cover of Collective Soul's "Shine" winning a Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance. The third, Halos & Horns (2002) included a bluegrass version of the Led Zeppelin classic "Stairway to Heaven".
Parton released Those Were The Days (2005), her interpretation of hits from the folk-rock era of the late 1960s through the early 1970s. It featured such classics as John Lennon's "Imagine", Cat Stevens's "Where Do the Children Play?", Tommy James's "Crimson and Clover", and Pete Seeger's anti-war song "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?".
Parton earned her second Academy Award nomination for Best Original Song for "Travelin' Thru," which she wrote specifically for the feature film Transamerica (2005). Because of the song's theme of uncritical acceptance of a transgender woman, Parton received death threats. She also returned to number one on the country charts later in 2005 by lending her distinctive harmonies to the Brad Paisley ballad, "When I Get Where I'm Goin'".
In September 2007, Parton released her first single from her own record company, Dolly Records, entitled, "Better Get to Livin'," which eventually peaked at number forty-eight on the Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart. It was followed by the studio album, "Backwoods Barbie," which was released February 26, 2008, and reached number two on the country charts. The album's debut at number seventeen on the all-genre Billboard 200 albums chart has been the highest in her career. Backwoods Barbie produced four additional singles, including the title track, which was written as part of her score for 9 to 5: The Musical, an adaptation of her feature film Nine to Five.
After the sudden death of Michael Jackson, whom Parton knew personally, she released a video in which she somberly told of her feelings on Jackson and his death.
On October 27, 2009, Parton released a four-CD box set entitled "Dolly" that features 99 songs and spans most of her career. She released her second live DVD and album, Live From London in October 2009, which was filmed during her sold out 2008 concerts at London's O2 Arena. She is also working on a dance-oriented album, Dance with Dolly, which she hopes to release in 2010.
Longtime friend Billy Ray Cyrus, singer of Brother Clyde, released their self-titled debut album on August 10, 2010. Parton is featured on "The Right Time," which she co-wrote with Cyrus and Morris Joseph Tancredi.
She said in 2010 that she would like to start recording a country-dance album in November, and that it should be set for release in 2011. On January 6, 2011, Parton announced her new album would be titled, Better Day. In February 2011, she announced that she would embark on the Better Day World Tour on July 17, 2011, with shows in northern Europe and the U.S. The album's lead-off single, "Together You and I," was released on May 26, 2011, and Better Day was released on June 28, 2011.
In 2011, Parton voiced the character Dolly Gnome in the animated film Gnomeo and Juliet.
On February 11, 2012, after the sudden death of Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton stated, "Mine is only one of the millions of hearts broken over the death of Whitney Houston. I will always be grateful and in awe of the wonderful performance she did on my song, and I can truly say from the bottom of my heart, “Whitney, I will always love you. You will be missed.
SongwritingParton is a successful songwriter, having begun by writing country-music songs with strong elements of folk music, based upon her upbringing in humble mountain surroundings, and reflecting her family's evangelical-Christian background. Her songs "Coat of Many Colors", "I Will Always Love You" and "Jolene" have become classics in the field, as have a number of others. As a songwriter, she is also regarded as one of country music's most-gifted storytellers, with many of her narrative songs based on persons and events from her childhood. On November 4, 2003, Dolly Parton was honored as a BMI Icon at the 2003 BMI Country Awards. She has earned over 35 BMI Pop and Country Awards throughout her prolific songwriting career. In 2001, she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
In a 2009 interview with CNN's Larry King Live, Parton indicated that she had written "at least 3,000" songs, having written seriously since the age of seven. Parton went on to say that she writes something every day, be it a song or an idea.
Acting careerDuring the mid-1970s, Parton wanted to expand her audience base. Although her first attempt, the television variety show Dolly! (1976–1977), had high ratings, it lasted only one season, with Parton requesting to be released from her contract because of the stress it was causing her vocal cords. (She later tried a second television variety show, also entitled Dolly (1987–1988); it also lasted only one season.)
FilmIn her first feature film Parton portrayed a secretary in a leading role with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the comedy film 9 to 5 (1980). She received nominations for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actress.
Parton also wrote and recorded  with the film's title song. It received nominations for an Academy Award for Best Song and a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song. Released as a single, the song won both the Grammy Award for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and the Grammy Award for Best Country Song. It also reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and in was placed number 78 on the "AFI's 100 Years...100 Songs" list released by the American Film Institute in 2004. Parton was also named Top Female Box Office Star by the Motion Picture Herald in both 1981 and 1982.
Her second film, the musical film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), co-starring Burt Reynolds and Dom DeLuise, earned her a second nomination for a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
Parton was teamed with Sylvester Stallone for the comedy film Rhinestone (1984).
She regained her success with the comedy-drama film Steel Magnolias (1989) which co-stars Sally Field, Shirley MacLaine and newcomer Julia Roberts.
Parton co-starred, with James Woods, in the comedy film Straight Talk (1992);
She then tried to launch a television series entitled The Dolly Show, but the project never bore fruit.
Parton made a cameo appearance as herself in the comedy film The Beverly Hillbillies (1993), an adaptation of the long-running television situation comedy of the same name (1962–1971).
She appeared as an overprotective mother in the comedy film Frank McKlusky, C.I. (2002), with Dave Sheridan, Cameron Richardson and Randy Quaid.
Parton made a cameo appearance in the comedy film Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous, starring Sandra Bullock.
She was featured in The Book Lady (2008), a documentary film about her campaign for children's literacy.
Parton had expected to repeat her television role as Hannah's godmother in the musical comedy film Hannah Montana: The Movie (2009), but the character was omitted from the final screenplay.
She had a voice role in the comedy family film Gnomeo & Juliet (2011), a computer-animated film with gnomes about William Shakespeare's tragedy play Romeo and Juliet (16th century).
Parton co-starred with Queen Latifah in the musical film Joyful Noise (2012), which finished filming in April 2011. Parton plays a choir director's widow who joins forces with Latifah's character, a mother of two teens, to save the Pacashau, Georgia, gospel choir after the death of her husband. The film was released in theaters on January 13, 2012,
TelevisionIn addition to her performing appearances on The Porter Wagoner Show in the 1960s and into the 1970s; her two self-titled television variety shows in the 1970s and 1980s; and on American Idol in 2008 and other guest appearances, Parton has also acted in television roles. In 1979 she received an Emmy award nomination as "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Variety Program" for her guest appearance in a Cher special. During the 1980s, she starred in two popular television concert specials: 1983's Dolly in London, filmed live in London's Dominion Theatre, and Dolly & Kenny: Real Love, a 1985 concert special with Kenny Rogers, filmed during their joint concert tour. (Parton and Rogers also filmed a popular 1984 holiday special for CBS, and the two teamed up with Willie Nelson in 1989 for another concert special Something Inside So Strong.)
Parton has appeared as a frequent presenter and performer on a number of awards shows, from the 1960s through the 2010s, and she remains a popular guest on a number of talk shows.
She starred in the television movie A Smoky Mountain Christmas (1986); Wild Texas Wind (1991) Unlikely Angel (1996), portraying an angel sent back to earth following a deadly car crash; and Blue Valley Songbird (1999), where her character lives through her music.
Parton has also done voice work for animation for television series, playing herself in the Alvin and the Chipmunks (episode "Urban Chipmunk", 1983) and the character Katrina Eloise "Murph" Murphy in The Magic School Bus (episode "The Family Holiday Special", 1994).
Parton has guest starred in a number of sitcoms, including a 1990 episode of Designing Women (episode "The First Day of the Last Decade of the Entire Twentieth Century") as herself, the guardian movie star of Charlene's baby. She also appeared in the situation comedy series Reba (episode "Reba's Rules of Real Estate") portraying a real-estate agency owner, and on The Simpsons (episode "Sunday, Cruddy Sunday", 1999). She also appeared as herself in 2000 on the Halloween episode of Bette Midler's sitcom Bette, and episode 14 of the Fox sitcom Babes (which was produced by Sandollar Productions, Parton and Sandy Gallin's joint production company).
She also made cameo appearances on the Disney Channel as "Aunt Dolly" visiting Hannah and her family in the fellow Tennessean Miley Cyrus's series Hannah Montana (episodes "Good Golly, Miss Dolly", 2006, "I Will Always Loathe You", 2007, and "Kiss It All Goodbye", 2010). The role came about because of her real-life relationship as Cyrus's godmother. She was nominated for an Outstanding Guest Actress in Comedy Series.
ImageParton has turned down several offers to pose for Playboy magazine, although she did appear on the cover of Playboy's October 1978 issue wearing a Playboy bunny outfit, complete with ears (the October 1978 Playboy issue also featured Lawrence Grobel's extensive and candid interview with Parton, representing one of her earliest high profile interviews with the mainstream press). The association of breasts with Parton's public image is illustrated in the naming of Dolly the sheep after her, since the sheep was cloned from a cell taken from an adult ewe's mammary gland. When Parton was asked whether she minded being an eponym in this way, she joked, "No, there's no such thing as baa-ad publicity."
She has had plastic surgery. On a 2003 broadcast of The Oprah Winfrey Show, Winfrey asked what kind of cosmetic surgery Parton had undergone. Parton stated that she felt that cosmetic surgery was imperative in keeping with her famous image, but jokingly admitted, "If I have one more facelift, I'll have a beard!" Parton has repeatedly joked about her physical image and surgeries, saying, "If I see something sagging, bagging, and dragging, I'm going to nip it, suck it and tuck it. Why should I look like an old barn yard dog if I don't have to?" and "It takes a lot of money to look this cheap." Her breasts also garnered mention of her in several songs in the 1980s and 1990s, including "Dolly Parton's Hits" by Bobby Braddock, "Talk Like Sex" by Kool G Rap and DJ Polo, "Dolly Parton's Tits" by MacLean & MacLean,"Crazy Rap" by Afroman,"Jokes on you" by Fabolous, "Lollipop Remix" by Lil Wayne ft. Kanye West, and "Make Me Proud" by Drake ft. Nicki Minaj.
Press agent Lee Solters represented Parton and has remarked that he knew her "since she was flat-chested".