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Dolly Parton: The Legendary Musician with a Gentle Heart, Part 1 of 2

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Few artists can lay claim to the title of being a Living Legend, one such artist is the iconic country music singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, author, and philanthropist, Ms. Dolly Parton. Her contributions to the art and culture of the United States have earned her numerous awards, including the Living Legend Award bestowed by the US Library of Congress in 2004, the US government’s National Medal of Arts in 2005, 11 Grammy Awards, an astonishing 50 Grammy nominations, and two Academy Award nominations.

Dolly Rebecca Parton was born on January 19, 1946, in Pittman Center, a small town near the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee, USA. She is the fourth among twelve siblings. Dolly and her siblings were brought up in the Church of God in her grandfather’s congregation. For some years, Dolly and her family lived in a one-bedroom cabin.

Despite having few financial resources, the family never lacked for love and music. At an early age, Dolly had already displayed her enthusiasm for music and performance and began singing her own tunes when she was five with her earliest public performances in church when she was six. Dolly’s musical talents were encouraged by her Uncle Bill, who saw Dolly’s potential and took on the role of her first manager. After graduating from high school in 1964, Dolly Parton moved to Nashville the very next day to pursue her musical career. Most of Dolly’s hit songs, including her signature song “Coat of Many Colors,” were written by her. “My coat of many colors That my momma made for me Made only from rags But I wore it so proudly”

Furthermore, along with her artistic endeavors, Dolly and her former manager of 25 years, Sandy Gallin, co-founded the film and TV production company Sandollar Productions. The Dollywood Foundation, created in April 1988 with the goal of helping children’s literacy and inspiring youth to finish their education, has grown into a charitable organization that has had a positive impact on children across the globe and various elements of US society.
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