Dolly Parton is an American singer, songwriter, actress, author, and businesswoman who has an estimated net worth of around $650 million.
She has become an iconic figure in country music and popular culture. She has achieved tremendous success as a musician. However, Dolly earned multiple Grammy awards and charted over 100 singles on the Billboard country charts.
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Dolly Parton Net Worth
Dolly Parton has an estimated net worth of around $650 million as of 2023. The vast majority of her wealth comes from her successful five-decade career as a singer and prolific songwriter in the music industry. Revenue from record sales, touring, merchandise, and business investments like Dollywood have increased significantly.
Due to her business acumen and diverse revenue streams, Dolly Parton is one of the wealthiest country music stars of all time. She continues to earn income from recording, merchandise sales, and business ventures, even in her mid-70s. Parton has said she intends always to work and will never fully retire.
Early Life and Education
Dolly Rebecca Parton was born on January 19, 1946, in Pittman Center, Tennessee. She was one of 11 children born to poor sharecroppers Robert and Avie Lee Parton. Money was scarce for the large Parton family, and Dolly shared a bed with several siblings.
At a young age, Dolly was intrigued by music, which became an escape from her family’s financial struggles. She started performing locally at the age of 10. However, she appeared on local television and radio programs in Knoxville.
After graduating high school in 1964, 18-year-old Dolly Parton moved to Nashville the next day. She had always dreamt of pursuing a music career. Early on, she found success writing songs for other artists. Her unmistakable voice also started landing her recording contracts.
Rise to Fame and Musical Success
Dolly Parton earned her big breakthrough in 1967 with the hit single “Dumb Blonde.” She soon became a familiar face on the country charts throughout the 1960s and 70s. Some of her major hits included “Jolene,” “Coat of Many Colors,” and “I Will Always Love You” – a song that later became a massive pop hit for Whitney Houston. With her 1976 album All I Can Do, Parton also crossed over into mainstream pop.
Over her decades-long career, Dolly Parton has released over 60 studio albums and has composed over 3,000 songs. She has won eight Grammy Awards, ten Country Music Association Awards, and seven Academy of Country Music Awards. Parton has received over 50 nominations for Grammy awards throughout her prolific career.
In addition to her highly successful music career, Dolly Parton has also exhibited strong talents as an actress. She made her acting debut in the 1980 musical comedy film 9 to 5 with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. The title song for the film became one of Parton’s biggest hits, further demonstrating her multifaceted skills as both a singer and actress.
Parton earned praise for her starring role in the 1982 film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas opposite Burt Reynolds. She went on to appear in films like Rhinestone (1984), Steel Magnolias (1989), Straight Talk (1992) and Joyful Noise (2012). She also had her variety show in 1976 and 1987-88. Parton has guest starred on several popular television shows, including Hannah Montana, Grace and Frankie, and Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings.
Beyond her entertainment career, Dolly Parton has established herself as a successful entrepreneur with many business ventures. She opened the theme park Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, in 1986. Dollywood theme park draws in over 3 million visitors annually, making it a highly lucrative investment for Parton. She also owns the Dixie Stampede dinner attraction and Dolly Parton’s Stampede and has invested in a waterpark resort.
Parton has also earned income from the Dollywood Foundation. Her company, Dolly Records, has managed the recording, publishing, and marketing for Parton’s immense catalog of songs since its founding in 1986. In 2006, she started her own Sirius XM radio station, Dolly Channel.
Parton founded Dolly Parton Enterprises in the early 1980s to manage her wide-ranging business interests. The company has produced films, television programs, books, merchandise, and music for Parton over the past four decades.
Dolly Parton is known for her generosity and philanthropy. In 1988, she founded the Dollywood Foundation, focusing on literacy programs. Her Imagination Library initiative sends over 1 million monthly free books to children under 5 worldwide.
Parton has contributed funds toward research at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. In 2020, it was announced their research helped develop the Moderna vaccine for COVID-19. Parton has also donated to HIV/AIDS charities since the epidemic in the 1980s.
Dolly Parton has been married to Carl Thomas Dean since 1966. Unlike Parton, Dean has always shunned the spotlight. Their relationship has mostly stayed out of the public over the decades. The couple never had children together, but Parton is the godmother of singer and actress Miley Cyrus.
Now in her mid-70s, Parton has slowed down her touring schedule but continues recording new music and running her business empire. She has overcome personal struggles with depression and health issues like breast cancer but has persevered with her signature optimism and strong faith.
Dolly Parton’s contributions to country, pop, and gospel music over the last 50 years have cemented her status as a true icon. She is one of country music’s most revered and influential singers. Parton’s songs exhibit her Appalachian roots while expanding the style with her pop sensibilities.
Hits like “Jolene,” “9 to 5,” and “I Will Always Love You” have become veritable country standards known by generations of fans. Her catalog of over 3,000 songs showcases her talents as a versatile songwriter.
Parton’s four-octave vocal range and distinctive singing and speaking style are also instantly recognizable. She has been referenced in music from varied artists like Lil Nas X and The White Stripes.
Recent Projects and Achievements
Parton shows no signs of slowing down in her 70s. She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999 and officially joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1969. She received Grammy Award nominations for her 2020 song with Zach Williams, “There Was Jesus,” and 2021 album Run, Rose, Run.
In 2022, Parton was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame despite initially protesting that she hadn’t earned the honor. She also released a most excellent hits album, Diamonds & Rhinestones: The Greatest Hits Collection, in 2022.
Parton continues to expand her business empire as well. She launched a fragrance line, Scent From Above, in 2021 and a clothing and accessories line with Dogwood Farms in 2022. A 12-part Netflix anthology series based on her music also premiered in 2022.
FAQs on Dolly Parton Net Worth
Where did Dolly Parton grow up?
Dolly Parton grew up in a rural town called Locust Ridge in Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains. She was one of 12 children born to poor sharecroppers. The family lived in a rustic one-room cabin with no electricity or plumbing.
What is Dolly Parton’s biggest hit song?
While she has many iconic hits, Dolly Parton’s biggest-selling single is her song “I Will Always Love You” from 1974. Country artist Whitney Houston later covered the song in 1992, turning it into one of the best-selling singles ever.
Does Dolly Parton own Dollywood?
The Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is owned by Dolly Parton. She partnered with Herschend Family Entertainment to open Dollywood in 1986. It features rides, traditional crafts, and music theaters celebrating Parton’s Smoky Mountains heritage.
Dolly Parton’s rags-to-riches story epitomizes the American Dream. She grew up in poverty, but through talent, intelligent business skills, and a tireless work ethic, Parton gained immense fame and fortune. Yet she never forgot her rural Southern roots and connections to everyday people.
Parton’s compassionate spirit and energetic drive to help others have made her equally beloved for her philanthropy. At 77, her passion for music and songwriting remains strong. Dolly Parton’s legendary career as America’s country sweetheart endures over five decades of changing musical trends. She remains a national icon and inspirational figure, beloved by generations of fans.