Singing, “Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene…,” Dolly Parton pulls at our heartstrings with the tale of a married woman coping with jealousy over a red-haired rival. Self-made in a male-dominated industry, Parton used her first chunk of earnings from her musical career to invest in businesses that would ultimately boost her hometown’s economy. From her $1 million donation toward COVID-19 vaccine research to donations of over 100 million books to children through Imagination Library, her charitable reputation precedes her.
If you weren’t already a fan of Dolly Parton — world-renowned country music singer-songwriter, businesswoman, and philanthropist, you might be now! Though her positive impact echoes across the world today, her roots are humble. She grew up in a one-bedroom log cabin with 11 siblings in the isolated yet majestic Great Smoky Mountains of Eastern Tennessee. As poor as her family was, however, they lived with tremendous heart and soul – Dolly grew up immersed in musical instruments and the sound and feel of Appalachian folk music.