12 Reasons Why Dolly Parton Is the Best Celebrity, and We Can All Agree on It
Dolly Parton built her career on being over the top. She left her mark in the world of science with her namesake for the first cloned sheep. She graced our TV screens in The Simpsons, and she sang a duet with Miss Piggy from The Muppet Show. No one can resist the smile that goes along with her bold cartoonish look, consisting of large breasts, big hair, and huge high heels — and yet there’s so much more to her than that.
We at Bright Side wanted to uncover what makes Dolly Parton such a universally beloved celebrity, and we hope the answer leaves you as happy as it did us.
1. She knows how to make an entrance.
On her first day at the RCA Studio B, Parton was running late for her recording session and plowed her brand new car into the recording studio’s wall. As bricks were still falling onto her car, she sashayed nonchalantly into the recording session as if nothing had happened. Later, she even pretended that the car wasn’t hers. The scar on the building still remains.
She’d have many more hits at that studio — luckily, they were of the musical variety.
2. She’s responsible for bringing books to almost 130 million children.
In 1995, Parton founded the Imagination Library as a tribute to her father who couldn’t read. Every month, the singer mails almost 1.5 million free books to the hands of children across the US, Canada, Britain, Australia, and Ireland, regardless of their family income. Parton even earned herself the nickname, “Book Lady,” which she’s deeply proud of.
3. She always has a comeback, even for the most hateful jokes.
This woman’s wit is incomparable. Once, she responded to a mean-spirited joke about her chest with a better one. Someone said that if she were to set her bra on fire, it’d take firefighters 3 days to put out the flames. She replied, “I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes because I know that I’m not dumb. I also know I’m not blonde.” It’s still the coolest quip of all time.
4. Simply put, she’s a musical genius.
Parton wrote 2 of her hit songs, “I Will Always Love You” and “Jolene,” on the same day. She can play around 20 instruments, including the guitar, fiddle, mandolin, dulcimer, and pan-flute. And according to her own estimations, she has written around 3,000 songs.
5. She helped to save once-endangered animals.
Parton contributed to the preservation of the bald eagle who, back in 2003, was considered an endangered species. She sponsored The American Eagle Foundation and helped to raise public awareness about the danger of extinction threatening the birds.
6. She actually rose from rags to riches.
Parton has always been open about her “dirt poor” rural upbringing. Her parents had to pay the doctor who delivered her in cornmeal, and she grew up in a 1-room cabin with 11 siblings, had no TV exposure, and could only get “running water if you were willing to run and get it,” she joked.
She was the first in her family to graduate from high school. The very next morning, she left for Nashville with nothing but confidence in her talent. If somebody ever unraveled the American dream and made it a reality, it’s Dolly Parton.
7. She has her own theme park because of course, she does.
Who else can say they had their own amusement park? Thrill rides, several theaters, and traditional crafts and music — who needs Disneyland when Dollywood exists?
8. She wrote “Jolene” as a response to someone flirting with her husband.
The song was born after a pretty red-haired bank teller dared to flirt with Parton’s husband, Carl Dean. You can say that the reaction is rather intense when it turns into an absolute hit. The name itself came from a different story: Parton met a little girl named Jolene and it was “the prettiest name she ever heard,” so she promised the girl to write a song about her.
Despite the “Jolene incident,” Parton and Dean have been happily married for over 50 years.
9. She’s been at the forefront of advocacy for controversial topics.
During the time when public support for HIV/AIDS groups was still taboo, Parton was very outspoken and risked her career by donating tons of money to healthcare facilities and organizations. She also has been open about supporting the LGBT community for decades despite receiving hate mail and threats for it.
10. She is very accepting of herself and other women.
“Find out who you are and do it on purpose,” truly. Parton looks the way she wants. That’s it. She is committed to her over-the-top appearance, from her gravity-defying breasts to her windproof wigs, all seasoned with a “so, what?” attitude about plastic surgery.
Parton also stands up for other women’s aesthetic choices. She wholeheartedly defended her goddaughter, Miley Cyrus, against media attacks when she tried to grow out of her Hannah Montana persona. The singer sympathized and supported Cyrus, as she was also shamed for similar things in her youth.
11. She’s a social media queen.
As a proper saucy grandma of social media, Parton just can’t help but crack cheesy jokes on Twitter and Instagram. She’s amused by the viral popularity of the “Jolene meme.” And, as always, she’s always ready to make fun of herself — as long as she delivers the punchline.
12. Her favorite food is the potato.
Hands down, best celeb alive!
Bonus: the 2 horsemen of wholesomeness
Do you like country music? What’s your favorite country song?