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11 reasons why Dolly Parton rules

Dolly Parton has a new book out this month, Dream More: Celebrate the Dreamer in You  in which the “queen of country” drops rhinestones of wisdom about living a big, full life which presumably extends to chest size and hair volume.

There are many reasons to love Dolly Parton — the self-effacing humor, the glittery get-ups, the way she rocks the mandolin — 11 of which I’ve outlined here.


  • She’s written over 3,000 songs 1 of 11
    She's written over 3,000 songs
    Dolly Parton is one of the great American songwriters. She has 75 albums to her name, won 8 Grammys, 10 Country Music Awards, sold over 100 million records, starred in films including "9 to 5" and "Steel Magnolias," and is the founder of Dolly Records, Dollywood Amusement Park and the Imagination Library, her early childhood reading initiative.
  • She’s comfortable with the dumb blond dichotomy 2 of 11
    She's comfortable with the dumb blond dichotomy
    You'd think someone of Dolly's business acumen, musical chops and staggering song catalog wouldn't still feel the need to trade on a glitzy trailer park persona, but that's why Dolly is a true American original. She doesn't apologize for modeling her look after "the town trollop" of her youth. She turns down sylists' frequent requests to help her refine her look. She is a true non-conformist in her jewel encrusted banana clips and tawdry negligees.
  • That’s DOCTOR Dolly to you 3 of 11
    That's DOCTOR Dolly to you
    Dolly earned an honorary doctorate degree after giving the commencement speech to the graduating class of '09 at the University of Tennessee. See the speech here.
  • She wrote Little Sparrow, Coat of Many Colors, Jolene and Ill Always Love You. 4 of 11
    She wrote Little Sparrow, Coat of Many Colors, Jolene and Ill Always Love You.
    A wise man once said, the world is full of players, but only a few can write (we're talking about songwriters here, not bloggers). In further testament of her business savvy, Elvis once offered to record "I'll Always Love You" if she sold him half the rights, but she wisely refused and has since gone on to earn millions of dollars in royalties from that one song. (See an early performance of "Coat of Many Colors"/a>.)
  • She somehow plays guitar with those fingernails 5 of 11
    She somehow plays guitar with those fingernails
    Could Jimi Hendrix do that? Jack White? Eddie Van Halen? Don't think so.
  • Her Imagination Library has donated 47 million books to kids 6 of 11
    Her Imagination Library has donated 47 million books to kids
    Dolly kicked off her Imagination Library in the mid ‘90s to encourage a love of reading among children in her home state of Tennessee by sending them one free book a month. Today, 687,207 children of all economic backgrounds across the United States, Canada and Great Britian are signed up to receive free books from Dr. Dolly. A philanthropist AND drag queen icon, that's Dolly.
  • Shes the queen of the one liner 7 of 11
    Shes the queen of the one liner
    Aside from the cannon balls on her chest, Dolly's unpretentious, self-mocking demeanor has always been her biggest draw: "I want to go to Heaven but I don't think I need to look like hell to get there." "It takes a lot of money to look this cheap." "I'm the only person who ever left the Smoky Mountains and took them with her" (referring to her breasts). "If I don't like where you got it I can certainly tell you where to put it."
  • She supports gay marriage 8 of 11
    She supports gay marriage
    Dolly has been married to husband Carl Dean for 46 years while dogged by rumors she's been romantically involved with her childhood best friend Judy Ogly—rumors Dolly has long denied. Still, she's a big proponent of same sex marriage. "Sure, why can't they get married?" the singer told CNN show host Joy Behar in 2009. "They should suffer like the rest of us do."
  • Western Barbie owes her everything 9 of 11
    Western Barbie owes her everything
    Even horse Dallas owes Dolly some hair styling props.
  • All of the proceeds from her book “Dream More” will fund her Imagination Library 10 of 11
    All of the proceeds from her book "Dream More" will fund her Imagination Library
    It means that Dolly has a really, really big heart...and is really, really rich.
  • She has a full-time wig wrangler 11 of 11
    She has a full-time wig wrangler
    Her name is Cheryl Riddle. Look it up.

 

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Jessie blogs at Rurally Screwed. Check out her books Rurally Screwed and Tart & Sweet

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