Happy birthday, Dolly Parton!
The multi-talented country superstar turns 74 years young on Sunday. Parton does it all. She's a singer, an actress, an author, a philanthropist and one heck of a businesswoman.
Parton's fan base crosses several generations. She's an American icon, but her fans also love her for her grace, kindness, spunk and the pearls of wisdom she has shared over her nearly 60-year career.
It's hard to pick just ten of our favorite Dolly Parton quotes, but in honor of her birthday, here are some of our favorite "Dollyisms."
Being a star
The Tennessee native grew up as one of 12 children living in a one room cabin in the Great Smoky Mountains. Parton is now worth an estimated $500 million and one of the most famous faces in the United States, but her folksy, humble charm still makes her relatable. With her characteristic humor, she explained why she doesn't think of herself as a star.
"I never think of myself as a star because, as somebody once said, 'A star is nothing but a big ball of gas' -- and I don't want to be that," she told Billboard in 2014.
Work isn't everything
Parton is one of the busiest and hardest working women in show business. She even operates her own theme park, Dollywood. While she loves what she does, she also remembers to be there for her family and friends.
“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life," she said.
On not having kids
Parton married Carl Dean in 1966. The couple, who are still together, never had children. Parton helped raise her siblings and is affectionately known as "aunt grandma" by their children.
But of course, the lady with the famous big hair also has an enormous heart. Parton runs the Imagination Library, which gives free books to children from birth until kindergarten. She also released a children's album in 2017.
She told TODAY the sweet reason why she believes it was God's plan for her not to have children.
"I think it probably was his plan for me not to have kids so everybody's kids could be mine. And they are now," she said.
Dolly Parton seriously does it all, and she's not going to let anyone stop her.
"I'm not going to limit myself just because people won't accept the fact that I can do something else," she tweeted in 2010.
It's that go-getter attitude that has turned her into a national treasure.
Getting through hard times
Parton has always had a way with words. She famously shared her outlook on getting through hard times. She once said, "The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you got to put up with the rain."
We bet that phrase has been etched on quite a few throw pillows, magnets and tote bags over the years.
"I love everybody, and I go right through the bullsh*t to the core of every person because we are all one... The biggest freaks in the world are my favorite people, like you, like me," she once told the late artist Andy Warhol and actress Maura Moynihan, according to Vogue.
Parton has stayed true to that sentiment over the years. She's been a strong ally of the LGBTQ community and a welcoming presence to people from all walks of life.
Sharing the spotlight
Dolly Parton doesn't mind helping other stars shine, too.
Whitney Houston belted "I Will Always Love You" in the 1992 movie "The Bodyguard," but Parton actually wrote the song and first recorded it herself two decades earlier.
Houston's rendition became a mega hit. Parton said she wasn't even aware Houston had released it until she was driving and heard it on the radio.
"Well, a lot of people say that's Whitney's song, and I always say, 'That's fine, she can have the credit, I just want my cash," Parton told Katie Couric in 2016.
On always looking good
Parton has joked in the past about getting things "nipped, tucked and sucked" to keep herself looking young. She also famously said there would have to be extremely dire circumstances for her to ever be seen out of the house without makeup.
"Not unless Carl (my husband) was dead. Maybe if I had to get him to the hospital in the middle of the night, but I'm not even sure about that – I might make him hang on so I could at least get a little lipstick on," she told The Independent in 2002. "But seriously though, when I'm in California, they're so prone to earthquakes you never know when you're going to have to run out in the street, so usually I'll sleep with my make-up on – well, at least my eye make-up. I wouldn't go out without it – I'd rather be dead."
She plans to leave fans with new music—even after she's gone
While we really hope Dolly Parton lives forever, she is already taking steps to make sure that her music does. The singer said she has hundreds of songs that could be posthumously released.
“There’s enough stuff to go on forever with my music, to do compilation albums, to do new and original stuff. I am purposely trying to put songs down for that very purpose, to have a click track and my vocals where any arrangement could be done.” she said on the podcast Dolly Parton's America.
Having a sense of humor
While everything from Parton's style (she joked she modeled it after the town tramp) to her famously enhanced assets have been the subject of conversation over the years, she's always the one laughing the loudest.
“I know some of the best Dolly Parton jokes," she told Roger Ebert in 1980. "I made 'em up myself!"