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The Dolly Parton statue at the Sevier County Courthouse.

Top 7 Facts About Dolly Parton to Celebrate Her Birthday

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Dolly Parton turns 75 today! This woman is a legend in Sevier County, as well as the rest of the world. To celebrate the icon, we have put together some facts about Dolly Parton. You may know a lot about her, but here are some things you may not know! Here are the top 7 facts about Dolly Parton to celebrate her birthday:

1. Member of the Grand Ole Opry for More than 50 Years

nashvilleDolly Parton has talked about how when she was younger, all she wanted was to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry. She got to perform at the venue when she was 13 years old for the first time. Little did she know at the time, she would later become a member. Now, she’s been a member of the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years!

2. Got Her Start on the Cas Walker Show

Dolly has performed all over the world now, but when she was first starting out, she would perform for her family and friends. The first major place she performed was on the Cas Walker Show in Knoxville, Tennessee. She was just 10 years old the first time she performed on his variety show, and she would come back to perform on it again and again.

3. Written Thousands of Songs

sheet musicWe all know certain facts about Dolly Parton, and one of them is she is a phenomenal song writer. Everyone knows “9 to 5” and “Jolene.” But there are thousands and thousands of songs written by Dolly we probably don’t know about. She says there are thousands of songs she’s written but no one has heard because they haven’t been recorded. Dolly also has written hundreds if not thousands of songs for other artists as well.

4. Constantly Gives Back to the Community

If there’s one important fact to know about Dolly Parton, it’s that she loves to give back to the community, especially here in Sevier County. She has raised funds to help hospitals in Pigeon Forge and set up a scholarship to reduce dropout rates in local high schools. Dolly established the “My People Fund” to help Sevier County recover after the wildfires in 2016. Most recently, she helped fund research for Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine in Nashville. Dolly has also created the Imagination Library, a program that has donated over 100 million books to children to promote childhood literacy.

5. Take a Class on Her at University of Tennessee

the hill university of tennessee knoxvilleAt the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, you can actually take a class all about Dolly Parton! It’s called Dolly’s America: From Sevierville to the World. The class focuses on how Dolly was a “hillbilly” girl from the mountains and how she turned into an international sensation.

6. Met Carl Dean on Her First Day in Nashville

Dolly Parton says that she hadn’t planned on falling in love when she moved away from home to Nashville. However, she met her now-husband, Carl Dean, the first day she was in the big city. She was 18 years old, and he was 21. They got married 2 years later, and they’ve been together for over 50 years!

7. Never Rides the Rides at Dollywood

Dollywood sign at Showstreet TheaterDolly Parton makes appearances at Dollywood, but you may not know that she doesn’t ride any of the rides. She never has ridden any of them, because she doesn’t want to get her outfit or hair messed up. Dolly also says she gets motion sickness!

These facts about Dolly Parton will make you love her even more. Want to know even more about Dolly? Learn more about her by checking out her childhood home!