The musician Dolly Parton celebrates her 75th birthday today. With her songs and numerous cosmetic surgeries, she made herself a fictional character: since the 1970s she has been one of the most successful country and pop singers in the USA.
Born on January 19, 1946 in Pittman Center, Tennessee, the singer comes from a poor background. Her parents were farmers, and community music evenings were part of her everyday life and that of her eleven siblings from early childhood. She quickly recognized the possibility of breaking out in music. As a little girl, Parton appeared on local television and radio shows.
„Jolene“ und „I Will Always Love You“
After graduating from school in 1964, she moved to Nashville, where she discovered and promoted her fellow musician Porter Wagoner before stepping out of his shadow. As a country singer with close ties to pop, Parton eventually became an icon.
It hit the charts 25 number one and 55 top ten hits and sold 100 million albums. Her best-known songs include “Jolene”, “9 to 5” and “I Will Always Love You”, a song that later brought Whitney Houston great success.
Distinctive soprano and catchy melodies
Parton’s pieces are characterized by their distinctive soprano voice and catchy melodies. The lyrics tell of the beauty of American landscapes as well as the longing for freedom, pain, love and simple life. Personal experiences often play a role, not least the hardships of her childhood, which she dealt with in her songs “Coat Of Many Colors” or “In The Good Old Days”.
Parton likes to comment self-deprecatingly on the numerous cosmetic operations she has undergone since she was 22: “I need a lot of money to look so cheap,” she once said.
Parton is also known for its social commitment: its reading program distributes books to hundreds of thousands of children every month. Last spring, she caused a sensation with her donation for the biotech company Moderna when she supported coronavirus vaccine development with a million dollars.
Parton has already received numerous awards. She received a Grammy nine times, the movie songs for “Why … don’t we kill the boss?” And “Transamerica” earned her two Oscar nominations.
In 1984 she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in 2006 the Kennedy Prize for her life’s work. A species of lichen that grows in the Appalachians was named after Parton, who incidentally is Miley Cyrus’ godmother: the “Japewiella dollypartoniana”.