The renowned 77-year-old artist Dolly Parton never ceases to astound and amaze us. It’s safe to say that it’s Dolly Parton season, y’all, as she gets ready for an incredible end to 2023 with the publication of her new book “Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones” on October 17 and her first-ever rock album “Rockstar” on November 17.
Parton recently spoke with The Guardian to promote her new book and album. During the conversation, she talked about her unique sense of style and her steadfast dedication to staying true to herself, even in the face of her family’s disapproval of her outfit choices.
She took inspiration for her looks from a local lady she called the “town tramp”; she was flamboyant in the way she used bright red lipstick, long red fingernails, and daring outfit choices. When Parton and her family went into town, Parton would frequently look for this woman because she was a woman of great beauty, grace, and presence.
“Well, that’s what I’m gonna be when I grow up,” I would always reply when folks would comment, “She ain’t nothing but trash.” Parton spoke warmly of how she had admired the “town tramp” as a child.
Parton never allowed it to stop her from expressing herself, even though her grandfather, a preacher, and father, a sharecropper, both had criticism and condemnation. She didn’t waver in her commitment to staying herself.
“I was prepared to cover the cost. Being reprimanded or disciplined greatly damaged my feelings because I’m a sensitive person. But if you want something bad enough, there’s a part of you that will go for it,” she boldly disclosed.
Not only did her family not like her, but executives from record labels also attempted to persuade her to soften her approach. But Parton never allowed criticism from others to break her spirit. She acknowledges that she worries about what other people think of her, but that has never stopped her from being who she is and from going for her own path.
Parton credited her mother’s words of wisdom, “To thine own self be true,” for her steadfast outlook. She stressed how important it is to her to do things her way, whether that means expressing her individuality, managing business, or just staying true to her convictions. According to Parton, there is strength in accepting who you are.
Dolly Parton: The Influence of Her Remarkable Parents
Dolly Parton’s unparalleled success as one of the most accomplished recording artists of all time can be attributed, in part, to the influence of her parents. She credits them for providing her with the essential tools needed for her extraordinary journey.
From her mother, Parton inherited creativity and spirituality. From her father, she inherited a strong work ethic and a business-minded mindset. These invaluable qualities enabled her to build an empire worth over $500 million and create a catalog of more than 3,000 songs.
Writing songs has been a lifelong passion for Parton. She began crafting melodies at the young age of 7, and to this day, she never stops. Although she has retired from touring, she continues to jot down song ideas and choruses the moment inspiration strikes, ensuring that no gem of creativity slips away.
“I’ve always got something around to write on – whether it’s chewing gum papers or napkins in a restaurant. I never know when an idea is going to hit me, and I dislike losing them because they rarely come back. I’m sure I’ve lost many great ideas because I didn’t have pen and paper,” Parton shared with The Guardian.