East Tennessee’s Dolly Parton is showing no signs of slowing down.
Her career, already spanning more than five decades, has earned her more than 47 Grammy nominations, more than 25 No. 1 songs and countless other accolades.
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“I’m just always on the job,” Parton said. “You can’t pull back for a year or so and expect people to remember you. I have never left the scene. I try to think I am relevant because I work hard all the time.”
While most people know her for her performances — and her looks – it is a reading program called “Imagination Library” that stands out to her as one of her greatest accomplishments. Imagination Library has delivered more than 1 million free books to children across the world,
“It is still one of my favorite things and one of the things that I will always be most proud of,” Parton said.
But as we all know, being one of 12 children and growing up in one bedroom country home near the Great Smoky Mountains, never stopped Parton, in fact, it has often been the inspiration of some of her greatest moments, like the hit song “Coat of Many Colors.”
Sequins and bright colors
Parton’s wardrobe is quite different, often filled with sequins and bright colors, and her fashion and style is something she says is quite intentional.
“I think it is whatever suits you and what you are comfortable with is what you should reach out and do,” she said. “Not everyone wants to look like me. I am so overdone, but it seems to work for me.”
And you might say “going for it” is exactly what Parton did when she was approached about her first movie “9 to 5.” Not only was it a box-office hit, it was a movie designed to shine a light on an important issue for women.
9 to 5 movie had a message
“Jane Fonda, who co-produced that movie, she is the one who came up with the idea,” Parton said of “9 to 5.”
“She got in touch with Pat Resnick, who wrote the script,” she said.: “And it really was a way to empower women and put them in the spotlight and say, ‘Hey we know what we are doing here. We are good at what we do. And we deserve to be paid for what we do and be respected for what we do.'”
Despite fame and fortune, Parton has never wavered from her mission to give back and bring honor to her family. And she has some advice for all of us women as well:
“Keep at it, believe in yourself, respect each other, respect yourself. And just do what you know you can do. And don’t take no bull from nobody,” Parton said.