5 things to know about Dolly Parton

She’s the Queen of Country who has been entertaining fans since the late 1960s. But how much do you know about Dolly Parton?

Here are five things to know about the Leading Lady of Country.

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1. Dolly Parton was born on Jan 19, 1946, and was the fourth of 12 children. Her parents were Robert and Avie Lee Parton. It is said that her father didn’t have enough money to pay the doctor, so he gave the man who delivered her a bag of grain as payment, according to Country Living. Her family’s home in the Great Smoky Mountains had only one room and had no electricity, Ken Burns said of her in his PBS documentary “Country Music.”

2. She started writing songs at the age of 5. When she was 10, she earned $20 a week singing on a television show in Knoxville, Burns said. She left her home in 1964 the day after she graduated from high school. Parton was the first person in her family to complete her high school education.

3. Parton has received many honors over her career. She has had 25 songs hit No. 1 on the Billboard country music charts and has had 41 Top 10 country albums with 110 charted singles.

She was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999 and was awarded the Living Legend Medal by the Library of Congress. She was awarded the National Medal of Arts in 2005 and has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (awarded in 1984 and 2018).

4. She owns a theme park in Tennessee. Dollywood is the largest employer in Sevier County, Tennessee. She left the town when she turned 18, but never forgot her roots. She opened the amusement park in 1986, but the park itself dates back to 1961 when the Rebel Railroad opened. According to the Dollywood website, the railroad grew into Dollywood.

5. Parton has a mission that focuses on childhood literacy. The singer gifts books to children from birth to the age of 5 in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and Ireland. The program was inspired by Parton’s father, who was unable to read or write. The Imagination Library started in 1995 in Sevier County but has expanded over the years. In all, more than 1.7 million children have registered for the program and the singer has given more than 150 million books.

If your child is within the age limits, click here to register for the program.

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