Ever since Dolly Parton made her debut in the late 1950s, she never looked back – she continues to soar without any signs of slowing down.
Parton boasts a career that has spanned almost six decades and counting. Throughout the years, she became the most highly esteemed artist in the history of country music. She has a feat that’s hard to match. She charted several No. 1 singles and country albums and has sold over a hundred million records worldwide. Dolly Parton’s greatest hits, such as “Jolene,” “I Will Always Love You,” and “9 to 5,” are just some of the hits her biggest fans know by heart and hold close to their hearts.
But behind her record-breaking singles and sold-out concerts, there are actually plenty of interesting things you need to know about Dolly Parton. So, we dug into some of the best facts about the country superstar that you might have never heard before. Keep on scrolling below to find out.
1. She’s a native of Tennessee.
Dolly Parton, whose real name is Dolly Rebecca Parton, was born to parents Robert Lee Parton Sr. and Avie Lee Caroline on January 19, 1946. She grew up in a tiny one-room cabin on the banks of the Little Pigeon River in Pittman Center, Tennessee, being the fourth of twelve children.
2. She has been a fan of butterflies ever since she was a child.
Parton once recalled how she would often get in trouble from wandering off while chasing the colorful insects when she was only a little girl.
In addition to the insect’s gentleness and its beauty, the singer said she got fond of butterflies as she sees a bit of herself in them. So, it’s no surprise how it became her symbol. It’s actually incorporated in Dollywood‘s logo and her released perfume bottles.
3. She patterned her now-iconic signature look after the town trap.
While many critics thought her over-exaggerated look appeared to be cheap and even suggested that she change, Parton said that the way she used to look and the way she looks now was “a country girl’s idea of glam.” She always takes pride in her bigger-than-life fashion choices.
4. She has tattoos.
The country icon has revealed her little tattoos, which she said: “are all pastel.” The delicate designs include ribbons, a beehive, an angel, bows – and of course, her signature symbol, butterflies. Parton said she’d gotten ink to help cover up her scars from procedures and previous surgeries.
5. She sleeps with a full face of makeup.
Well, it’s actually quite impossible to find the singer-songwriter not made up. In fact, she revealed that she always has her makeup on, even at home. She even does touch-ups throughout the day, she said.
More interestingly, she also sleeps with it. This is because she’ll never know the possibility of a natural disaster that requires her to go out in the middle of the night.
6. She has a vast wig collection.
Unfortunately, so much styling and dyeing damaged Parton’s hair. This is why she decided to just wear wigs. “That way, I never have a bad hair day,” she said.
When it comes to how many wigs she owns, the singer revealed that she wears one about every day. So, she must have at least 365.
7. She’s an early riser.
The country icon revealed that three to five hours of sleep have always been enough for her and that she almost always starts her day at three in the morning. And since she’s a very spiritual person, the very first thing she does when she wakes up is to pray and do little meditations.
8. She’s been married for more than five decades.
Her marriage to her husband, Carl Thomas Dean, has been nothing but strong and enduring throughout the years. The two married in 1966, two years after meeting outside a local laundromat in Nashville, on the first day the singer transferred to music city to chase after her dreams.
9. She has three titles in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The country icon holds the record for the most No. 1 hit singles for a female artist on Billboard’s U.S. Hot Country Songs chart, with twenty-five hits overall; the female artist with the most decades spent on the chart, ranking in the chart within seven decades; and ultimately, she broke her own record with the most hits in the U.S. Hot Country Songs chart by a female artist, with over a hundred hits.
10. She’s terrified of flying commercial aircraft.
Pretty sure Parton has traveled many miles throughout the course of her decades-long career. But if she had it her way, the country singer said she would not travel any of those miles by plane.
Parton once confessed that she’s actually scared of flying – not because of the height or the fear of falling, but rather because she feels helpless, feeling that she “can’t get out if she wants to.” If given a chance, she prefers to take her bus, where she can stop and get out anytime. But if that transportation method is not possible, she opts to fly through a private jet rather than a commercial one.
11. She constantly served as a constant ray of light at difficult times.
Parton’s philanthropy acts are no secret. She has been very active and generous enough to help various causes ranging from childhood literacy to environmental preservation.
In 2020, she donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to help researchers learn more about COVID-19. Later, it was reported that the vaccine developed by drug maker Moderna was part of Parton’s contribution. It was one of the first COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States.
Truly, Dolly Parton has been one of America’s greatest treasures for many years. Isn’t it great to get to know her more with these amazing facts?