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The Influence of Dolly Parton

Hey y’all! In honor of Women’s History Month, I want to talk about one of the most influential women to come from the music industry. Please don’t get mad, but I am referring to a country artist. Dolly Parton is one of my personal favorites and hopefully after this, I will convince you that country music isn’t so bad. Especially when you consider the gem that is Dolly Parton.

Dolly is one of the OG’s of the country genre and was one of the pioneers for country female artists. Not only did she make a break in the male-dominant industry, but she thrived in it. Currently, she is the richest country singer in the world with a net worth of $500 million. She’s also had 382 award nominations and took home 182 of those, according to Wikipedia (this is reliable right?). I don’t know about you, but I find that to be pretty impressive.

Her financial and career success are not the only things that shape her success in the industry, however. Before Dolly Parton made her debut, country music was driven by men. Her mainstream success came about in the 1960s, which was an era in which women were demanding to have their voices heard. In her songs she captures the stories of women and brings them to the forefront. Her song "Dumb Blonde,” is a great example which shows how a woman can thrive after being left by a man.

You also can’t talk about Dolly Parton without talking about her song, “9 to 5.” The song was written for the film 9 to 5, which Dolly Parton co-starred in. The song became an anthem for the working-class women that demanded equal pay. It shoved a middle finger in the face of capitalism. She reminds everyone that these CEOs are all about “takin’ and no givin’.” While the song didn’t start the movement towards equal rights, it pushed the issue forward. Women were, and still are, earning considerably less than men and are often dealing with large amounts of disrespect in the workforce.

I would also like to touch on her influence in the LGBTQ+ community. She serves as a gay icon to many. She’s openly supported the queer community, while calling out those who do not show the same support. Many drag queen shows have also honored Dolly Parton by dressing as her. She has shown lots of support of this trend (she also has an annual ‘Gay Day’ for her LGBTQ+ fans at her theme park, Dollywood, which I find very amusing too).

Hopefully, I have convinced you that country music isn’t so bad and to give Dolly Parton a try! I also made a playlist with some of her most iconic songs as well as some of my personal favorites which you can check out here!


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