Dolly Parton’s no-nonsense advice to her younger self

Dolly Parton reveals the advice she'd give "baby Dolly." Source: Getty

Dolly Parton may be one of the most successful female country music stars today, but the big-haired blonde’s tale is truly a classic rags-to-riches story.

In a recent interview with USA Today, the renowned Jolene singer revealed that she spent her childhood in shacks in the mountains of East Tennessee without access to basic amenities like electricity or running water.

The Partons lived modestly with a family of 11 siblings and hardworking parents, but this did not hinder young Dolly’s aspirations.

Despite her family’s circumstances, she harboured a deep passion for music and often performed for her “adoring fans” – the chickens and dogs on her family’s front porch, using a stick with a tin can as her microphone.

However, it wasn’t long before she could leave behind her makeshift setup and perform with real instruments before a live audience.

“I imagined it, I dreamed it, I worked for it,” she told the publication.

“And God was good enough to let me have it.”


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While Parton’s dreams did come true, her journey towards achieving them was far from easy, saying if there was one thing she could tell “baby Dolly” it’s that “to thine ownself be true.”

“If I could look back on my little self, I would just say ‘You better buckle up. Brace yourself.  You’re going to have a wild ride, but you’re going to love it,” she said.

And what a wild ride it has been indeed. While there’s no doubt Parton has achieved numerous accomplishments in her lifetime, the singer has no plans of slowing down.

After her 77th birthday earlier this January, the singer made it clear she has no intention of putting her guitar down anytime soon, admitting she was too much of a workaholic to want to wrap up her career.

“I don’t think I could retire if I wanted to. Cause I’ve dreamed myself into a corner, as I say. Cause all these wonderful things keep happening and you gotta keep the dream alive,” she said.

“Since I love to work, I always say I’ll just work. ‘I’m gonna make hay while the sun shines,’ is the old saying. So, I’m gonna do that until I can’t do it anymore.”

As the road to retirement isn’t a path Parton plans on taking, she is currently keeping herself busy with numerous projects, like the movie adaptation of her novel where she will be making her first first-ever major movie debut in over a decade.

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