Music

Dolly Parton

She may be a self-made caricature but Dolly Parton always had talent to burn - a wonderful singer, brilliant songwriter, inspired businesswoman, accomplished actress and natural comedienne. The fourth of 12 children raised in near-poverty in the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, she turned hardships into autobiographical song and, the day after leaving school, she headed for Nashville seeking fame and fortune. Once country star Porter Wagoner had asked her on his weekly TV show, she found both. Seven years with Wagoner transformed her into a major star and when she moved on in 1974 she wrote one of her most famous songs I Will Always Love You as a parting gift. The 1977 album Here You Come Again signalled her move into pop, where her irrepressible humour and exaggerated dumb blonde image ("it costs a lot of money to look this cheap") seduced mainstream audiences. Movies followed and by 2010 she was writing a stage musical of her life.

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07-07-2011