One of the most iconic faces — and style stars — in country music, the legendary Dolly Parton has been winning awards and shattering music industry records for over 50 years. Born to humble beginnings in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, Parton first got her start performing at her local church, surrounded by her 11 brothers and sisters.
After graduating from high school, the up-and-coming starlet headed for Nashville, making her on-camera debut in 1967 on Porter Wagoner’s weekly TV program. But it wasn’t until 1974 that Dolly really made a splash on the country scene. “I Will Always Love You,” which she wrote about Wagoner, sky-rocketed to the top of the charts — and with it, Dolly began to develop her signature over-the-top, covered-in-sequins style. (How fitting for a superstar of her caliber!)
Over the years, Dolly has written over 3,000 songs and released 145 singles. Inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999, the now 73-year-old firecracker can still hold her own on stage. And if you haven’t had enough Dolly, on November 22, a new Netflix series, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings, will chronicle her incredible rise to fame — and the glitzy, glamorous outfits that she wore along the way.
“I was not a raving natural beauty,” Dolly told ELLE of her penchant for heavy makeup, sky-high wigs, and embellished costumes. “I look totally artificial, but I am totally real, as a write, as a professional, as a human being. A rhinestone shines just as good as a real diamond.” And to that we say: Dolly, never stop being (rhinestone-clad) you!
Take a look at some of our favorite Dolly Parton looks from over the years.