I wouldn’t exactly call myself a country music fan, but, for some reason, I have always loved Dolly Parton. Not only does her music resonate with millions, but, she is also funny, sweet and gorgeous. I also absolutely love the fact that she doesn’t take herself too seriously, no matter how successful she becomes.

Today, on January 19th, Dolly Parton turns 71 and I’d love us all to wish her a very happy birthday. At a time when some people would start to take it easy, Dolly Parton is picking up speed. Let’ take a look at her life and accomplishments so far.

Her Early Years Made All the Difference

Dolly was one of 12 children, so, as you can imagine, she had to learn how to stand out from a young age! In addition, living with her family in a one-room house in the Smokey Mountains helped her to stay grounded throughout her entire life.

Dolly Parton’s Star Shines Brightly

On a professional level, Dolly is one of the most successful musicians and actresses or all time. Frequently, her acting and musical talents overlapped. Nowhere is this truer than with her hit song, “I Will Always Love You,” which was featured in The Best Little Whore House in Texas. Personally, this is my favorite version. What’s yours?

Dolly was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000. I can’t think of anyone who deserved it more than her!

Despite Her Achievements, Dolly Parton is One of Us

From her music, it’s clear that Dolly has experienced love and loss. Every single woman in our community has had to make tough relationship decisions. It’s impossible to listen to her singing “I will Always Love You” without understanding on a deeply emotional level that she is one of us. As I saw someone write in the comments below one of her videos, “Whitney Houston may have had the voice, but, Dolly Parton had the feelings!” I couldn’t agree more!

Speaking of feelings, Dolly Parton is also one of those rare celebrities who has managed to stay happily married for decades. She met her husband, Carl Parton in a laundromat. The couple married in 1966 and have been together ever since.

While the two have had very different careers, she clearly adores him and once said, “He is not musical – but he is kind, funny and romantic. His poems are lovely and heartfelt. And that kind of stuff keeps us happy over the years – two old goats together.”

Dolly is Committed to Making the World a Better Place

Dolly has a special place in her heart for charities that encourage literacy. For example, in 1995, she established the Imagination Library, which sends books to children during their formative, pre-kindergarten years.

Let’s all take a minute to wish Dolly Parton a very happy 71st birthday! Happy birthday Dolly! I look forward to hearing more about your sparkling energy and basic human kindness in the years to come.

Dolly Parton Gallery

What is your favorite Dolly Parton song? Please take a minute to wish her a happy 71st birthday in the comments section below.

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