There's more than just one reason why Dolly Parton was, is, and will always be a national treasure. But many don't know about the tragedies that have plagued her behind the scenes ...
Dolly Parton has always been considered America's sweetheart.
via: GettyIt's no secret that we absolutely adore her.
It's one thing that we can all actually agree on.
Taking a moment to send some love to Dolly Parton. ✊🏾— Charles Booker (@Charles Booker)1597523813.0
There's no denying her power.
via: Getty ImagesBorn in Locust Ridge, she was the fourth child of a whopping twelve.
The country singer made a career from her "rags-to-rhinestones" story.
via: Getty ImagesShe has credited a lot of her family members for helping mold her musicality, but particularly Uncle Bill Owens for getting her foot in the door of the industry.
Her talent didn't go unnoticed.
via: Getty ImagesAfter landing a coveted spot on The Porter Wagoner Show, she saw her name in lights very quickly.
And with songs like "Jolene" and "Love Is Like A Butterfly," she became an icon in the world of country singers.
via: Getty ImagesIn 1975 and '76, the Country Music Association awarded her with Female Country Singer of the Year and during this time, she was also working on moving into the pop market in order to further her career.
And the song “Here You Come Again" really helped her do that.
via: Getty ImagesIt won a Grammy Award and in the following years, she tucked a couple more of the prestigious accolades under her belt.
Probably one of her most famous songs, "9 to 5" catapulted her to global stardom.
via: Getty ImagesHer iconic country glam style was recognized all over the world and her distinct million-dollar smile granted her with millions of fans.
As well as being a musician, she also dabbled in the world of film.
via: Getty ImagesIn the '80s, Dolly made appearances in films such as Nine to Five, The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and Steel Magnolias.
It's safe to say that Dolly Parton is a living legend.
via: Getty ImagesAnd she's proven her status over and over again. Here are some of her most iconic moments throughout her career.
10. The 2017 Emmys joke.
via: GettyDo you remember when she reunited with her 9-5 co-stars? Of course you do, because it's the same day she made that hilarious vibrator joke on stage.
Dolly congratulated Grace and Frankie for their nomination, and then added this:
via: Getty Images"I just hope I'm going to get one of those Grace and Frankie vibrators in my swag bag tonight." And everyone had the same shocked but amused look on their face. It was pretty funny, to say the least.
9. Her Black Lives Matter stance.
via: InstagramNow, over the past few months, we've heard celebrities speaking out against the treatment of Black people in society, but Dolly Parton took hers to a whole other level.
Apparently, some people found it so "offensive" that it led to a Dolly boycott.
via: InstagramThis is what she said when the interviewer at Billboard asked her for her opinion on the social movement: "Of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!"
At least 50% of her fan base was left annoyed...
via: InstagramBut Dolly knows what's up and we love her for it.
8. When she called out the sexism she faced when she was starting out in the industry.
via: GettyDolly's appearance is iconic, right? But that doesn't mean it didn't attract a lot of negative attention for the way she looked.
And as she got more confident with her look, she felt the need to call some people out.
via: GettyIn multiple interviews, she has talked about being defined by her makeup or her cosmetic surgeries, saying this: "I'd like to think I have a brain beneath this wig and a heart beneath the boobs."
But one particular interview stood out:
via: YouTubeSitting down with Reese Witherspoon, the country singer expressed her true thoughts on the matter saying "don't let these false eyelashes lead you to believe that I'm as phony as I look - Because I run true and deep." She's the ultimate bad b****.
7. When she talked about her fans dressing up as her.
via: Getty ImagesThe New York Times asked Dolly if she liked seeing her fans turn up to her concerts dressed up as her and her response was nothing short of heartwarming.
She said this:
via: Getty Images"When I do 'Jolene' and I see a bunch of drag queens out there, I start singing 'Drag Queen, Drag Queen, please don't take my man!' I have a huge gay following and I'm proud of them. Sometimes, some of them look more like me than I do."
6. When she lost an Oscar to Three 6 Mafia.
via: Getty ImagesBack in 2006, the Oscar for Best Original Song seemed like it was going to be an easy win for Dolly, but the hip-hop group Three 6 Mafia (who also became the first-ever hip-hop group to win the award) came through shocking everyone.
But Dolly wasn't bitter, she looked genuinely happy for them.This is the content we're living for.
5. When she founded her reading program.
via: Getty ImagesThe country singer is not just concerned with her own career, as she has been involved in numerous charities to aid children and their own educational ventures.
The Dolly Parton's Imagination Library was started all the way back in 1990.
via: Getty ImagesIt aims to provide children with free books from the day they're born until they are 5 years old and since it was started, Dolly's sent over 141 million books to children around the world. Wow.
4. Her sense of humor.
Or real life. Remember when she cracked this joke?
via: Getty ImagesWhile filming on the set of 9 to 5, in between takes, she asked Jane Fonda, "Do you know what's green and smells like Miss Piggy?"
3. When she donated $1 million to fund coronavirus research.
via: Getty ImagesDolly made sure she did her bit to help us all throughout the pandemic, donating a whopping million dollars to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to help with scientific research into the virus.
2. When she exposed her husband.
via: YouTubeWhile being interviewed for The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Dolly revealed that her husband was more excited about the fact that she was going to be working with Jennifer Aniston than she was because he had a massive crush on her. I mean, who doesn't?
But it seems as though his love goes beyond just a little crush...
via: YouTubeOn the show, Dolly told Jimmy that she thinks he "fantasizes about having a threesome with us," leaving the host scandalized.
She then added:
via: YouTube"He can't even get it out to pee, much less get it up for three." And that sends Jimmy off his chair and straight onto the floor laughing. She just likes to keep things real with us.
1. When she denied Elvis Presley half the rights to her song.
via: Getty ImagesShe told us that Elvis really wanted to record "I Will Always Love You" but he also asked for half the publishing rights.
But Dolly wasn't up for that because she wanted to leave the full rights to her family.
via: Getty ImagesSo she rejected the collaboration in order to honor her morals. And then when Whitney Houston recorded the award-winning track, she knew she had made "the best decision."
So there we have it guys, Dolly Parton was, is, and always will be America's national treasure.
via: Getty ImagesBut did you know of all of Dolly's struggles behind the scenes?
Dolly Parton DOES have Sad Ass Songs Please listen to the podcast Dolly Parton's America It made me weep, laugh, a… https://t.co/0PU3DIh0SW— Yzzy Arias (@Yzzy Arias)1592163824.0
Whenever I get really sad I read this book I have that’s partly a biography on Dolly Parton and partly life lessons… https://t.co/vIplJ85NyY— angelina♡ (@angelina♡)1591968887.0
I just heard Dolly Parton sing about how sad she was and I laughed at myself because for a moment I had the urge to… https://t.co/xAdqrRqA6Z— J.A. Miraj (@J.A. Miraj)1602563434.0
Dolly Parton is sad, therefore I am sad.— Jason Heyward Respecter (@Jason Heyward Respecter)1584806227.0
@The_Evil_Barbie @DollyParton Jolene - heartbreakingly sad ☹️— Andy Poole (@Andy Poole)1604903317.0
Dolly Parton's song Letter To Heaven is everything a Country & Western ballad should be. Depressing, tragic and utterly hilarious.— sixthformpoet (@sixthformpoet)1300283801.0
I just found out that Dolly Parton has been married over 50 years and no one has ever seen her with her husband bec… https://t.co/zvFfB3tMsT— ember ♡ (@ember ♡)1602861375.0
"There's my whole life, in a song, in one person's voice"... the Dolly Parton documentary on Netflix is just fantas… https://t.co/bbdunFstt3— Neil (@Neil)1604196487.0
Dolly Parton's troubles started young.
via: ShutterstockHer first home was a one-room cabin, and she often shared a bed with up to four of her siblings.
They bathed in a nearby river.
via: Shutterstock"I'll always count my blessings quicker and more often than I count my money," Parton has said of her humble beginnings.
During Parton's childhood, the older siblings were tasked with caring for the younger ones.
via: ShutterstockBut Dolly's younger brother who she cared for, Larry, died just four days after his birth.
It hit Dolly hard, as she'd been his primary caregiver.
via: ShutterstockShe was just nine years old at the time.
Aside from her tragic childhood, Dolly has faced professional struggles, too.
via: ShutterstockShe began her career singing country songs but faced opposition from record labels.
Eventually, her success meant Dolly could forge her own creative path.
via: ShutterstockShe didn't fit into the usual bluegrass box - but that's been the key to her stardom!
Dolly's rise to fame wasn't smooth sailing, though.
via: ShutterstockIn fact, for her first gigs, she was often booed off the stage - hard to imagine now!
Dolly faced another turbulent professional relationship, too.
via: ShutterstockHer ongoing collaboration with Porter Wagoner had a rather difficult end.
In fact, she wrote "I Will Always Love You" about the professional breakup.
via: ShutterstockBut even so, Wagoner went on to sue Parton for breach of contract.
The feud went on for years.
via: ShutterstockBut the pair eventually made up - and Parton was even with Wagoner when he died years later.
Another secret sadness Dolly has faced?
via: ShutterstockShe's never become a mother.
In the early days of her marriage, she and her husband planned for their family.
via: ShutterstockBut eventually, Dolly had to choose her career over a family.
She continues to work with many children's charities.
via: ShutterstockSo she's basically the whole world's mom, instead.
In spite of her longstanding marriage, Dolly has had romantic turmoil, too.
via: ShutterstockShe claimed in her book that she had an "affair of the heart" in the early eighties.
Following this, she fell into a deep depression.
via: ShutterstockParton even claims she considered taking her own life during this traumatic time.
In fact, Dolly faced more than her fair share of loss over the years.
via: ShutterstockAlongside her brother Larry and musical partner Porter Wagoner, she's also lost another brother Floyd, plus her niece Tever who died from a drug overdose aged just 36.
So it's safe to say, life hasn't always been peachy for Dolly.
via: ShutterstockAt least she's always had her music to get her through. Want more Dolly? Scroll on for one incredible ways fans are honoring her in light of the Black Lives Matter movement.