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Women’s History Month: Dolly Parton

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

Born Dolly Rebeca Parton on January 19, 1946 in Locust Ridge, Tennessee, the singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian had a tough upbringing. Her family had struggled financially and Dolly was one of twelve children, but that did not stop this star from shining. Dolly began practicing music by performing at church and singing with her mother. She started performing professionally at the early age of 10 when she appeared on local television and radio shows. Soon after high school, she headed to Nashville to achieve her dreams.  

In 1967 Dolly became a part of The Porter Wagoner Show where she and Porter Wagoner would perform together.  Dolly had a strong business sense and made the smart move of protecting her publishing rights of her songs, by starting her own publishing company. She became a sensation creating hit song after hit song, and won her first Grammy for her song “Here You Come Again.” In the eighties, Dolly made her film debut. She starred in 9 to 5, but that was only the beginning of the now-movie star’s career. After that, she went on to star in other films. Over the years she has continued to produce music and star on the big screen. 

However, even though she’s “made it big” Dolly has given back in countless ways, and her humanitarian work does not go unnoticed. Though many of her contributions are anonymous she provides scholarships, donates thousands to hospitals, and has provided supplies for classrooms. In 1996 she established the Dollywood Foundation, which works on improving literacy for children. She went on to create Dolly’s Imagination Library, which annually donates more than 10 million books to children.  Talk about someone who works 9-5!!

Audrey is a senior at Michigan State University She is the Events Director, Book Club Manager, and Editor for her chapter. At MSU she is majoring in Economics and minoring in Quotative Data Analytics and Italian.