Turning 75 is a remarkable milestone in itself. For Dolly Parton, the coming birthday, and many more before it, gives the songwriting legend a lovely reason to put her heartfelt words to melody. In an ABC News feature, the country music marvel details why writing a commemorative song each year comes so naturally as a birthday gift to herself. Of course, chances are that anything written from the inspired soul of Dolly Parton will become a treasured to the world. That prediction is particularly true through this holiday season stricken by a surging pandemic.
Already, Dolly Parton has lifted the Yuletide season like no other entertainment presence could by seemingly spreading her Tennessee homegrown cheer everywhere she goes. This Christmas truly has been A Holly Dolly Christmas, to borrow the title of her latest 2020 holiday collection for every fan to treasure. No one can miss Dolly Parton on a big or small screen, or in regular rotation on radio. She even created a lovely book, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics, to fit perfectly underneath the tree. Dolly is no doubt contemplating something very meaningful for her special day on January 19, 2021.
One more honor comes a little early for Dolly Parton
It’s about six weeks or so before Dolly Parton’s big day. Still, no one is splitting hairs when it comes to superstar of her magnitude. The artist is featured in the Billboard Women in Music Issue. Fittingly, she takes Billboard’s Hitmaker Award inside the pages.
“It’s a commemorative thing to write something on my birthday– it’s what I do and who I am” Parton declares. “I just think it’s my gift to myself,” says Dolly Parton offhandedly. She recalls starting the tradition as a child and making it more permanent in her teens.
Dolly Parton related in another recent Country Music Alley profile how she’s always had good timing when it comes to the right moments in her career. Hard work is part of the fabric of her personal ethos, and Parton has no plans for slowing down any time soon. Unlike so many performers and songwriters who have a few years or, at best, a decade of artistry to remember, Dolly Parton has created timeless songs, memorable film roles, TV movies and specials that fans never get enough of.
Her wide-ranging roster of recognition includes 49 Grammy nominations, 10 wins, and nods from the Oscars, the Emmys, and a Tony Award nomination, to boot. Topping off the acclaim, Dolly Parton leaves a legacy of authentic philanthropy. Her generosity has never been more apparent or important than it has in this year of immense need for hope and the promise of a better future.
Music as therapy
Pen, paper, Dictaphone (in Dolly Parton’s case) and her guitar are more than just vehicles for creative expression for the country music icon. In no uncertain terms, Parton emphatically says “That’s my therapy.” It’s understandable how the superstar is able to relate to so many fans and followers who tell her that her songs saved them from despair or worse. Dolly Parton senses the same phenomenon.
“I really think my music has saved me and a lot of other people,” Dolly insists. “I’m able to write down feelings of people who are broken and don’t know how to express it.”
Even through her darkest times, Dolly Parton turns experiences into positive lessons for others. She revealed in September that her tattoos purposely placed on several areas of her body were there to conceal the scars of needed medical procedures. There was even a feeding tube necessary at one point. The artistic displays of ribbons and butterflies helped the songwriter to focus on the beauty and roots of life that she loved. The story of why they happened is a testament to the kind of patient Dolly Parton is.
Dolly Parton will have a chance to express thanks to her fans and Billboard on December 10. The Women in Music event will take place at 8 PM ET. Honorees will make remarks virtually.
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) December 3, 2020
Does Dolly Parton goodness work for the gridiron?
Her Tennessee roots run deep in Dolly Parton. She always refers to the folks in Sevier County and the surrounding areas as “my people” and describes them as the neighbors she can never forget. It takes teamwork to survive the hardscrabble kind of upbringing that Dolly and her siblings had in the hills. There were enough Parton’s to field a football team, for sure.
Now it seems that the Tennessee Titans are welcoming Dolly Parton as the 12th Titan for this Sunday’s (December 6) matchup with the Cleveland Browns, per USA Today. The Titans are currently in first place in the AFC South, so naturally, they don’t mind seeking a little divine Dolly guidance.
On social media, the team dubbed Dolly Parton “THE LEGEND,” proclaiming that “she will bless us.”
Parton will offer a prerecorded message and a “special surprise guest” will plunge the Titan sword before the game.
No one knows if Dolly Parton is as good at devising defensive plays as she is at writing decades of unforgettable songs. No matter what she does, she has a definite, divine touch.
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