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Music

An American icon

Dolly Parton (image: Billboard)

Billboard has published an interesting profile of Dolly Parton, who Wikipedia describes as “an American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, actress, author, businesswoman, and humanitarian”. That’s selling her short. She’s an incredible talent, incredibly generous and quite clearly the smartest person in any room.

NME profiled her in 2017:

A ferocious talent who grew up in dire poverty alongside her 11 siblings in a tiny two-room shack, she became – and remains – a powerful entertainment force, as well as a quietly but subversively political one.

Sure, there are the 43 albums, seven Grammys, global record sales of over 100 million, stints as an actress and author and even her own theme park, but she’s also an LGBTQ icon and renowned philanthropist, putting money back into her beloved community and endorsing a whole host of charitable causes. Her theme park, Dollywood, isn’t just a hillbilly Alton Towers; it was built to bring industry to the area she grew up in and create jobs in one of the poorest parts of the United States. Her Imagination Library project has helped to promote child literacy since 1995 by giving over a million free books to kids across the world.

The Billboard piece is primarily about her business empire (Billboard is of course a magazine for and about the music industry) but it’s yet more evidence of what an extraordinary person she is.