CNN Editorial Research
Here’s a look at the life of Dolly Parton, the Grammy Award-winning singer, song writer, producer and actress.
Birth date: January 19, 1946
Birth place: Locust Ridge, Sevier County, Tennessee
Birth name: Dolly Rebecca Parton
Father: Robert Lee Parton, farmer
Mother: Avie Lee (Owens) Parton
Marriage: Carl Dean (May 1966-present)
Has received 50 Grammy Award nominations and won ten competitive awards. She has also received the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide.
Founder of the Dollywood Foundation, which funds Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library — a program which began in Sevier County, Tennessee, and provides preschool-aged children with a book every month from birth to kindergarten. The program has spread to other parts of the country and internationally.
Was born fourth of 12 children. Six of her siblings worked as professional musicians.
1957 – Records her first song, “Puppy Love,” with Goldband Records.
1959 – First guest appearance on the Grand Ole Opry at the age of 13.
1964 – Moves to Nashville after graduating from high school.
1967 – Joins “The Porter Wagoner Show.”
1967 – First full-length album titled “Hello, I’m Dolly,” is released on Monument Records.
1968 – Wins the Country Music Association award, with Porter Wagoner, for Vocal Group of the Year.
January 4, 1969 – Becomes a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
1971 – “Joshua” becomes Parton’s first solo single to top the US country charts.
April 1974 – Leaves “The Porter Wagoner Show.” Parton writes the song “I Will Always Love You” in honor of her professional break from her duet partner and mentor of seven years.
1975 and 1976 – Receives the Country Music Association award for female vocalist of the year.
1976-1977 – Her syndicated variety show “Dolly!” runs on television.
1978 – Receives the Country Music Association Award for entertainer of the year.
1980 – Appears in her first film, “9 to 5,” along with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. Parton wrote the original theme song and was later sued in federal court by a couple claiming the recording was copied from their 1976 song, “Money World.” A jury later found in favor of Parton.
February 24, 1982 – Wins two Grammy Awards for the song “9 to 5”: Best Country Vocal Performance, Female and Best Country Song.
May 3, 1986 – The theme park Dollywood opens in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
1987-1988 – Her primetime variety show on ABC, “Dolly,” airs for one season.
1988 – Establishes the Dollywood Foundation.
1992 – Whitney Houston releases her version of Parton’s song “I Will Always Love You,” which tops the Billboard Hot 100 for 14 weeks, a record at the time.
1994 – Parton’s autobiography, “Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business,” is published.
1999 – Is inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
February 23, 2000 – Wins a Grammy, with Harris and Ronstadt, for Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for the song “After the Gold Rush.”
February 21, 2001 – Wins a Grammy, with Gary Paczosa and Steve Buckingham, for Best Bluegrass Album for “The Grass is Blue.”
February 27, 2002 – Wins a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance for the song “Shine.”
May 19, 2001 – Dollywood’s Splash Country waterpark opens in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
April 14, 2004 – The US Library of Congress awards Parton the Living Legend medal.
2005 – Named a recipient of the National Medal of Arts.
2006 – Becomes a Kennedy Center honoree.
February 12, 2012 – Receives a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
December 10, 2015 – NBC airs the movie, “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors.” It is inspired by Parton’s life and her song “Coat of Many Colors.”
November 2, 2016 – Receives the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award at the 50th Annual Country Music Awards Show.
November 30, 2016 – NBC airs “Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love,” a sequel to the original movie which aired in 2015.
November 30, 2016 – In a video message, Parton announces that she has created the “My People Fund” through her Dollywood Companies and hopes to give each family affected by the Great Smoky Mountain wildfires $1,000 a month for six months to help them get “back on their feet.”
February 15, 2017 – Wins a Grammy with Pentatonix, for Best Country Duo/Group Performance, for a remake of her song “Jolene.”
February 27, 2018 – Parton donates the 100 millionth Imagination Library book to the Library of Congress.
February 10, 2019 – Parton is celebrated in an all-star tribute at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. She also performs at the event for the first time in 18 years along with Miley Cyrus, Little Big Town, Katy Perry and others.
May 3, 2019 – FBI Director Christopher Wray honors Parton with the 2018 Director’s Community Leadership Award. She is given the award as recognition for her efforts to provide financial support to families affected by wildfires that ravaged parts of eastern Tennessee in 2016.
August 5, 2019 – Nashville Mayor David Briley declares the date Dolly Parton Day.
November 26, 2019 – NBC airs “Dolly Parton: 50 Years at the Opry.” The two-hour special celebrates Parton’s milestone as a member of country music’s most esteemed institution.
January 26, 2020 – Wins a Grammy, with the duo For King & Country, for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for “God Only Knows.”
November 2020 – Parton learns that after donating $1 million to Vanderbilt University’s COVID-19 Research Fund, her assistance partially funded the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine. Parton’s name appears in the preliminary report on the vaccine among sponsors like the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
March 14, 2021 – Wins a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for “There Was Jesus.”
August 11, 2021 – Parton and mystery writer James Patterson announce they are co-writing a novel, titled “Run, Rose, Run.” The 448-page book will be accompanied by an album based on its characters and situations. The book is published on March 7, 2022.
May 4, 2022 – It is announced that Parton will be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
June 15, 2022 – Vanderbilt University Medical Center announces that Parton is donating $1 million to pediatric infectious disease research at Vanderbilt.
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