Country music’s biggest sweetheart celebrated her 75th birthday on January 19, 2021, to much fanfare. Dolly Parton is only 5 feet tall, but this legendary entertainer has built up a towering career in music and film.
Not only is Dolly known for her amazing vocals and acting talent, but she is also respected as a professional businesswoman and a charitable philanthropist who has touched the lives of millions of fans around the world.
Here are 20 facts that you may not know about this iconic pop culture superstar.
1. Dolly Owns More than 300 Wigs: When you see Dolly, there is a good chance that she may be wearing a wig. She said that she loves to have the wigs around so that she never has to worry about having a bad hair day.
2. Proud to be Godmother to Miley Cyrus: Dolly is proud to be the godmother to another budding musician, Miley Cyrus. Billy Ray Cyrus was such a fan of his good friend that he asked her to be the godmother of his daughter.
3. A True Rag to Riches Story: Dolly was not born with a silver spoon in her mouth. She grew up in a tiny one-bedroom cabin in Sevierville, Tennessee, a place that you can still visit today after Dolly renovated it.
4. “Jolene” Was Inspired by a Flirty Bank Teller: Dolly loves to tell the story of how her iconic hit song “Jolene” was inspired by a flirtatious redhead bank teller. She laughs when she talks about how the teller would flirt with her husband, Carl Thomas Dean.
5. She Has Been Married for Over 50 Years: Dean and Dolly have been married for over 50 years. The pair loves to recount the story of how they met outside of the Wishy-Washy Laundromat on the first day that Dolly was living in Nashville to pursue her dream.
6. Dolly is an Early Bird: Dolly wakes up nearly every day at 3 am to get her day started. During this quiet time, she answers emails, meditates, makes phone calls, and immerses herself in her spiritual side.
7. She is a Librarian: In an effort to promote childhood literacy, she founded the Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in 1995. The books are sent to children all over the country as well as to Canada, the UK, and Australia.
8. Dolly Claims to Sleep in Her Makeup: Dolly claims the secret to her beautiful skin is that she sleeps in her makeup and only washes it off in the morning before she can apply it again. She said that she always wants to be ready to show her face all done up.
9. She Dones Tattoos: Dolly has admitted to having a few hidden tattoos on her body where most people would never see them. She said that the tattoos were designed to cover up scars on her skin.
10. She Wrote a Cookbook: It is no surprise to those who follow Dolly to know that she loves to cook. What many may not know is that she published her own cookbook of over 125 of her favorite Southern recipes called “Dolly’s Dixie Fixin’s: Love, Laughter and Lots of Good Food.”
11. Dolly Goes for Pie Over Cake: When it comes to celebrating her birthday, Dolly said that she would rather indulge in a birthday pie over a birthday cake. Her favorite type of pie is the classic chess pie.
12. She Has a Whopping Net Worth: Given her great success, it is not shocking to learn that Dolly has a net worth of well over $600 million. She has made most of her money in music, film, through her wildly successful Dollywood theme park, and even after launching her own fashion line.
13. Johnny Cash was Her Crush: Before she fell in love with her husband, Dolly said that she had a mad crush on musical artist Johnny Cash. She fell in love when she first saw him perform at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry when she was a young teenager.
14. She Follows a Low-Carb Diet: Dolly credits her low-carb diet for her trim figure. While she admits that she has a weak spot for junk food, she tries to stay low carb for most of her meals to keep herself in check.
15. She Does Not Ride the Attractions at Dollywood: Dolly opened her famous theme park, Dollywood, in 1986. However, she claims that she does not ride the attractions because they tend to aggravate her motion sickness.
16. She Loves to Sleep on Her Tour Bus: Dolly is not a fan of having to unpack at hotels every night when she is on tour. Instead, she much prefers the convenience of simply sleeping on her tour bus.
17. Dolly is One of 12 Kids: To say that Dolly comes from a big family is an understatement. She is the fourth oldest of 12 kids: Stella, Larry, Randy, Rachel, Willadeene, David, Coy, Robert Lee, Floyd, Cassie, and Freida.
18. A Cloned Sheep was Named After Dolly: One of Dolly’s most unique claims to fame is that the world’s first cloned animal was named after her. The sheep named Dolly was cloned in 1996, signifying a major breakthrough in the world of medical science and innovation.
19. The Comedy “9 to 5” Marked her Acting Debut: Dolly made her acting debut alongside Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda in the hit film “9 to 5.” In addition to playing the role of Doralee Rhodes, she also performed the title track song.
20. Fireflies Light the Way at Night: When Dolly was a child, her family was so poor that their home did not have running water or electricity. Instead, Dolly and her siblings would capture fireflies and put them in mason jars to light their rooms at night.