Dolly Parton

(1946 on) – Singer–Songwriter

Dolly Parton was born the fourth of twelve children to a very poor family in Tennessee. She began performing as a child and moved to Nashville straight after she graduated from school in 1964. She started as a songwriter before joining The Porter Wagoner show in 1967 where she became known as a singer. She has since had huge international success over many decades. Her philanthropy includes the Imagination Library, which has donated over 100 million books to children; donations to cancer hospitals and to medical centres; wildlife preservation through the American Eagle sanctuary at the Dollywood Foundation and much more. 

What is there to say about Dolly Parton that hasn’t been said already? My family have been fans of hers since the 1970s when we listened to a lot of country music, but it’s only as an adult that I became aware of Dolly’s long list of achievements outside music and acting – from her literacy schemes to donating money to help develop the coronavirus vaccine. She’s also declined honours such as the Presidential Medal of Freedom and having statues erected of her. 

Sharmilla Beezmohun

Photograph Kristopher Harris

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