Dolly Parton was born January 10, 1946 as the fourth of 12 children in Tennessee. What her family lacked in money was more than made up in love and support, and a young Parton was inspired by her upbringing and surroundings, sparking her love of music. By the age of 13, she was learning guitar, writing music and performing; upon high school graduation, she moved to Nashville and embarked on one of the most successful careers in musical history. And now, well beyond her country and pop career, she is a 2022 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

She pleaded with Jolene to stay away from her man. She shared her stories of growing up simple and poor, but loved, in her Tennessee mountain home, where her mother made her a coat of many colors. She’s a feminist who demands that standards shouldn’t be different for her just because she’s a woman – and is quick to let anyone know that just because she’s blonde doesn’t mean she’s dumb. This woman is nobody’s fool, and has become one of the most beloved entertainers of her time.

Throughout the 1960s, Parton wrote several songs that charted – for other artists. In 1967, she started a successful seven-year collaboration with country star Porter Wagoner, performing several top-ten singles with him,  before deciding to go solo herself, eventually garnering worldwide fame and crossing genres, creating a diverse fan base across the globe.

Over the past six decades, Parton has written over 3,000 songs, many for other artists; she has released over 200 singles, both as a solo artist and in collaboration with others, most famously Wagoner, Kenny Rogers, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris; she holds the record for the female artist with the most number one country singles (25); she chose to broaden her appeal and crossed genres to pop/disco in the 1970s, and has had two number one hits on the “Billboard” Hot 100; and she wrote a tribute to her mentor that has endured over half a century, and when sung by Whitney Houston, became one of the bestselling singles of all time, “I Will Always Love You.”

Parton’s contributions to the entertainment industry have been acknowledged multiple times, and she has been inducted into over a dozen Halls of Fame, both as a performer and a songwriter, has won 10 competitive Grammys out of 51 nominations, been a two-time Oscar nominee and is one of only seven women to win the Academy of Country Music Awards’s Entertainer of the Year (1978). She has accumulated numerous nominations and wins, but those aren’t what have given her fan loyalty.

With her upbeat personality, down-home honesty, trademark look and generous spirit, Parton has earned the adoration of many, some of whom don’t even care for country music. She’s never backed down from telling raw stories that have sparked controversy, with singles about double standards (“Just Because I’m a Woman”), a sympathetic take on an unwed pregnancy (“Down from Dover”) and women’s rights in the workplace (“9 to 5”). She’s a smart businesswoman, who founded the successful Dollywood Company in Tennessee, bringing an economic boost to her native state that she loves dearly. She is active with many charities, most notably her literacy program that provides free books to young children. She is known for her “look” and is very forthcoming about her plastic surgeries – “If I see something sagging, bagging or dragging, I’ll get it nipped, tucked or sucked” – but clearly prioritizes her faith and family over vanity.

When Parton was first nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she humbly declined, thinking it was just for “rock stars” and she didn’t want to take another deserving person’s place. With her crossover hits, her impressive songwriting catalogue and the number of artists across all genres who cite her as an influence, as well as her charity work, her ability to maintain a happy decades-long marriage and her successful business ventures, Dolly is the very definition of a “rock star.”  We celebrate her latest accolade with a photo gallery ranking her 15 best songs.