Dolly Parton Turns 40

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Guitar, boots and cowboy hat represent country musicDolly Parton is having a big year. The platinum powerhouse is celebrating 2014 as only she can, with a world tour and new additions to her Dollywood Theme Park in Pigeon Forge. Now, Visit My Smokies has learned she has even more to celebrate as she celebrates a 40 year milestone in 2014. 

(See Related: Top 5 Dolly Parton Moments of 2013)

It may seem like Dolly Parton has always been a living legend, but, at one time, she was just a girl from the Smoky Mountains. “I always dreamed big, and my momma always said ‘You and your dreams,’” Parton said. Those big dreams led to her Dollywood theme park, starring roles in movies and hit songs such as “9 to 5” and “Jolene.”

Though Parton herself is 68, some of her most famous hit songs turn 40 this year. ‘I Will Always Love You,’ Parton’s most recognized hit, was released in 1974 as the second single to her ‘Jolene’ album. That same year, the album was released, and, though the title single was released in ‘73, both became larger-than-life in 1974.

Parton states that ‘I Will Always Love You’ was written in a time when she was leaving Porter Wagoner’s television show. When he didn’t want her to leave the show, she was in a very emotional place and eventually wrote the song to convey a message of gratitude for all he had done to help her career.

The song exploded in 1992 when Whitney Houston recorded it for her movie, The Bodyguard with Kevin Costner. In an interview, Parton explained, “The effect that it had on the whole world was amazing. It’s been one of the biggest songs ever.”

Leave your congratulations for the song’s 40th birthday in the comments section below.

Always one to dream big and never give up, Parton’s career spans nearly five decades, and she doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The next few years are expected to be just as exciting for the blonde bombshell, as she prepares the renew her vows to Carl Dean, her husband of nearly 50 years. Dollywood will also be unveiling a new $300 million resort, DreamMore, in 2015.

Dollywood closed its doors on January 4 to prepare for the upcoming season. Set to reopen on Saturday, March 22, 2014, Dollywood will begin the month-long annual Festival of Nations and reveal the new FireChaser Express. The nation’s first dual-launch roller coaster launches riders twice, traveling forward and backward on the track.

Dolly Parton also announced her world tour would continue through the U.S. this year, with a special charity concert for the Imagination Library near her hometown. The concert will be her first appearance in East Tennessee since announcing Dollywood’s upcoming additions.

For the most up-to-date information about Dolly Parton, be sure to check out the Visit My Smokies Facebook page. There you’ll find the breaking news about Dolly’s career, Smoky Mountain events, attractions and more.

 
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