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Timeline : Dolly Parton

January 19, 1946

Dolly Parton is born in Sevier County, Tennessee, the fourth of twelve children.

April 20, 1959

Thirteen-year-old Dolly Parton releases her first single, the rockabilly-style love tune "Puppy Love."

July 25, 1959

Introduced by Johnny Cash, 13-year-old Dolly Parton makes her Grand Ole Opry debut singing George Jones' "You Gotta Be My Baby." She receives three encores.

June 22, 1964

One day after graduating from high school, Dolly Parton moves to Nashville.

May 30, 1966

Dolly Parton marries Carl Thomas Dean, the owner of a Nashville asphalt road-paving business. The long-lasting pair celebrate their 50th anniversary in 2016.

February 13, 1967

Dolly Parton releases her debut album, Hello, I'm Dolly, boasting the Top 20 hits "Dumb Blonde" and "Something Fishy." The album catches the attention of country veteran Porter Wagoner, who invites Dolly to appear on his popular television show, marking the beginning of a fruitful partnership.

September 25, 1967

Little-known country singer Dolly Parton makes her first appearance on The Porter Wagoner Show, singing two songs from her debut album: "Dumb Blonde" and "Something Fishy." She becomes the full-time replacement for the program's longtime singer, Norma Jean. Parton stays on the show for seven years and records string of popular duet albums with Wagoner.

June 17, 1973

Dolly Parton records "I Will Always Love You," a song written about her mentor, Porter Wagoner.

June 8, 1974

Dolly Parton's "I Will Always Love You" goes to #1 on the Country chart. Nearly two decades later, Whitney Houston's R&B version tops the Hot 100 and becomes one of the best-selling singles of all time.More

September 27, 1976

After appearing on the The Porter Wagoner Show for seven years, Dolly Parton gets her own TV variety show, Dolly!, which premieres on ABC. The show lasts one season; Parton returns in 1987 with another variety show, this time unexclaimed: Dolly.

October 5, 1978

Dolly Parton becomes the first country singer to pose for Playboy.More

December 19, 1980

9 to 5, starring Dolly Parton and featuring the classic theme song by the singer (where she uses her fingernails as an instrument), opens in theaters. Parton, in her first acting role, stars alongside Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda as disgruntled secretaries who get even with their sexist boss.More

July 23, 1982

Dolly Parton stars as a brothel owner in the musical film The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, alongside Burt Reynolds. She earns a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

October 29, 1983

"Islands in the Stream," written by the Bee Gees and intended for Marvin Gaye, goes to #1 in the US as a duet by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton.More

June 22, 1984

The Dolly Parton movie Rhinestone is released, featuring Parton as a country singer trying to mentor a New York cabbie played by Sylvester Stallone.

May 3, 1986

The Silver Dollar City Tennessee amusement park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, is reopened as Dollywood after Dolly Parton takes an ownership stake. The park grows considerably and becomes very successful with Parton involved.

March 2, 1987

The Trio album, a collaboration between Linda Ronstadt, Emmylou Harris and Dolly Parton, is released. The album had been planned since 1979 - it was worth the wait, selling over 4 million copies and winning the Grammy Award for Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal.

December 10, 2015

The TV movie Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors airs on NBC.More

October 13, 2017

Dolly Parton donates $1 million to the Vanderbilt University Children's Hospital in Nashville, which helped her niece battle leukemia. She announces the donation on a visit to the facility, where she performs songs from her children's album I Believe in You.

January 21, 2020

Ever the trendsetter, Dolly Parton creates a viral meme that shows off four sides of her personality, as represented by LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Tinder. Celebrities like Oprah, Janet Jackson, Jennifer Garner, and Miley Cyrus join in on the fun with their own versions.More

April 1, 2020

Dolly Parton makes a $1 million donation to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center to help fund research for a coronavirus vaccine.

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