There’s no doubt Dolly Parton is one of country music’s biggest stars. Aside from having taken home a large number of awards and accolades throughout her decades-long career, the beloved “9 to 5” songstress has a whopping net worth of an estimated $350 million, according to a profile of Dolly’s career and assets published by Forbes magazine on August 5, 2021.
Dolly has become a household name over the years, but she actually grew up in a completely different lifestyle. Before rising to fame at age 13, the blonde beauty grew up in rural Tennessee in a household of 12 children. Dolly was raised by her parents, Robert Lee Parton and Avie Owens.
After she learned to play the guitar at a young age, she began performing professionally on local television and radio shows. Dolly then made the move to Music City after graduating from high school, and from there, she signed with Monument Records at the age of 19. The rest is history.
Since her country music career really started to take off around 1967, Dolly has easily become of the most respected singers in all of Hollywood. Over the last four decades, Dolly has released more than 40 top-10 country albums, as well as 25 No. 1 singles. She’s even sold more than 100 million albums as a solo artist — which doesn’t include the hundreds of millions of albums sold through other artists.
Dolly proved savvy at keeping the publishing rights to her songs. She even turned down a request by Elvis Presley’s camp in the mid-70s to have the King of Rock ‘n Roll cover her 1974 hit “I Will Always Love You” because they wanted her to sign over half of the publishing rights and the massive royalties that would follow every time the song was played.
Dolly has always held on to the publishing rights to her songwriting catalogue throughout her career, which has proved highly lucrative. “When Whitney [Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You] came out, I made enough money to buy Graceland,” she told Country Music Television in 2006. Forbes estimates her songwriting catalog, which she owns completely, is worth about $150 million.
According to Forbes, Dolly’s largest single asset is her Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. She cofounded the facility that features an amusement park, concert theater, restaurants, river rafting and more in 1986 along with Herschend Family Entertainment. Dolly’s 50 percent stake is worth about $165 million in 2021, Forbes estimates.
Besides her impressive music career as a singer-songwriter, Dolly has also flourished as a Hollywood actress. In 1976 and 1977, she starred in her own variety show titled Dolly!, which ran for one season. She then made her theatrical film debut as Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5 in 1980. Since then, she’s appeared in hits Steel Magnolias, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Dumplin’ and many more.
The Grammy Award-winner — who has been married to her longtime husband, Carl Thomas Dean, since 1966 — also invested massive amounts of money into philanthropy and entrepreneurial efforts. In 1986, Dollywood Theme Park opened up in the Knoxville-Smoky Mountains in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, and has since ranked as the 16th best amusement park in the entire world and the 12th best park in the United States, according to Trip Advisor.
In addition, Dolly is currently working on launching her own fashion line. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the “I Will Always Love You” performer signed her first exclusive global licensing deal with IMG and is set to launch a line that will sell clothing, jewelry, accessories and even home goods.
“I am excited to be working with IMG on a global scale to give my fans products that they will cherish for years to come,” the actress tweeted in May 2019. “You might even see my mug on a mug.”
In April 2021, she did a collaboration with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams and created a flavor called Strawberry Pretzel Pie Ice Cream, which sold out so quickly it completely crashed the site.
“Strawberry Pretzel Pie is SOLD OUT everywhere! Thank you for making our @DollyParton collab an unstoppable force for good and supporting [her nonprofit organization Dolly’s Imagination Library],” the ice cream company tweeted. “Someday, someone will write a country song about the ice cream that broke the internet.”
Dolly’s collaboration with Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams wasn’t the only sweet treat she put her stamp of approval on. In January 2022, the “Jolene” singer partnered with Duncan Hines for a line of southern-style cake mixes and buttercream frostings. The collection completely sold out on launch day within a few hours. It will be sold at select retailers across the U.S. much to the delight of her loyal fans.
In July 2021, Dolly debuted her own fragrance, aptly titled “Dolly – Scent From Above,” which she said was inspired by her single, “Sent From Above.” Taking to Instagram, Dolly wrote, “Having my own perfume has always been a dream of mine, and it’s finally HERE!”
Considering Dolly can’t stop coming up with good ideas, we can’t wait to see what she dreams up next!