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The 12-time Grammy winner has accomplished quite a lot both professionally and personally
You may know Dolly Parton as the flashy, outgoing and outright hilarious queen of country music, and because her illustrious career has spanned so many decades, it feels like at this point, you know everything there might be to know about her.
However, with a list of achievements that includes 12 Grammys, funding a vaccine and owning her own theme park, among others, it's also easy to overlook some of her wins as her list of accomplishments continues to grow.
That's why we've compiled this list of 10 fun facts you may not necessarily know about 77-year-old superstar, Dolly Parton.
Dolly Parton Wrote on Tina Turner's Debut Solo Album
You probably know that Parton's mighty pen is behind Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You," but did you also know that Parton harnessed those songwriting skills for Tina Turner?
According to Grammy.com, the country powerhouse wrote "There'll Always Be Music," which was on Turner's debut solo album, Tina Turns the Country On!
Dolly Parton Has 11 Siblings
Born on Jan. 16, 1946, in Pitman Center, Tennessee, Parton grew up as one of 12 kids! Two of her brothers have died, but nine of her siblings remain.
Above, her sisters Cassie (left) and Rachel appear alongside the singer in the TV movie Dolly Parton's Mountain Magic Christmas.
Dolly Parton Helped Fund Moderna's COVID Vaccine
— Dolly Parton (@DollyParton) March 2, 2021
In 2020, the "Jolene" singer donated $1 million to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which helped in the research and development of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine that came out the next year.
In a cheeky March 2021 tweet captioned, "Dolly gets a dose of her own medicine," the singer was pictured getting a shot of the vaccine and encouraging others to do the same.
Dolly Parton Has Been Married for 57 Years
Parton has been married for — literally — a lifetime!
The singer wed her soulmate, Carl Dean Thomas, on May 30, 1966 and the couple has been going strong since. Even more impressive is the fact that as public as her career has been over the years, she's still managed to keep her relationship with Thomas under the radar.
Dolly Parton and Her Best Friend Have Been Close Since Childhood
If you think the tenure of her marriage is impressive, wait until you hear that the "Coat of Many Colors" singer has been best friends with the same person for more than 60 years.
That's right, Parton and her lifelong BFF, Judy Ogle, have been pals since they were wee tots. The pair are so close, they were even rumored to have been a couple, which Parton always denied.
"So people say that — because you can’t really have a great relationship with a woman," she told The Sun in 2019. "I’m not gay but I have so many gay friends and I accept everybody for who they are."
“Judy and I have been best friends for 64 years, since we were little kids," she continued. "Our parents knew each other, we grew up together, we were like sisters, became best friends."
Dolly Parton Owns More Than 100 Wigs
Parton is of course known for her musical talents, but part of her appeal is her appearance: the sparkly outfits (check that Dallas Cowboys outfit!), her famous curves and of course, her sky-high wigs.
Talking about her elaborate hair pieces, the "9 to 5" singer told Entertainment Tonight, "Once somebody asked me, 'How many wigs do you have?' I said, 'Well, I must have at least 365, because I wear one almost every day.' "
Dolly Parton Is a Guinness World Record Holder (10 Times Over!)
Parton has earned her fair share of accolades throughout her career, and the 12-time Grammy winner continues to stack her shelves.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Parton received three new Guinness World Record titles earlier this year: Most Studio Albums Released by a Female Country Singer, Most Top 10 Entries on Billboard’s U.S. Top Country Albums Chart (female) and Longest Span of No. 1 Hits on the U.S. Top Country Album Chart (female).
The three new accolades brought her total of Guinness World Records to 10.
Dolly Parton Once Lost Her Own Lookalike Contest
During an interview with Robin Roberts in 2009, the singer revealed she once lost a Dolly Parton lookalike contest.
"[It was] at a Halloween contest years ago on Santa Monica Boulevard where all the guys were dressed up like me and I just over-exaggerated my look and went in and just walked up on stage," she recalled. "I didn't win. I didn't even come in close, I don't think."
Dolly Parton Has Her Own Theme Park (But Hasn't Tried Out the Rides!)
Though she has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2022, Parton has been immortalized in a much more thrilling way: through her theme park, Dollywood.
Though the Tennessee tourist destination initially opened in the 1960s, it was relaunched as Dollywood in 1986, after Parton bought some stakes in the park's parent company.
“When I was growing up here in the Great Smoky Mountains, we used to come every now and then down to this area,” Parton told USA Today. “When it was the county fair, we’d come to town, and I used to think if I make it big, if I get rich like I was dreaming I might, that I’d love to do something special, to come back home and build a park of my own.”
Though the theme park is widely popular, Parton appreciates it from a distance.
"I don't ride the rides," she once told the New York Times. "I never have. I have a tendency to get motion sickness. Also, I'm a little bit chicken."
"With all my hair I got so much to lose, like my wig or my shoes. I don't like to get messed up," she joked. "I'm gonna have some handsome man mess it up, I don't want some ride doing it."
Dolly Parton Only Communicates Via Fax
"She gets upset when you don't respond," Cyrus said on a 2021 episode of The Graham Norton Show, adding that she herself doesn't even own a fax machine. "It's like, 'I'm sorry, I don't even know. Half the people watching your show might not even know what a fax machine is!' "
"I never did get into getting involved in all that because it’ll take up too much of my time if I tried to get in touch with everybody who is trying to get in touch with me," Parton explained on a 2023 episode of The View, seemingly referencing cell phones. "So I just say, ‘Fax me! Fax me or call me and I’ll call you back.’ "
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