Country superstar Dolly Parton turns 71 years old on Jan. 19, and the iconic singer has more than a few things to celebrate. Born the fourth of 12 children, her rise to fame is a true rags to riches story.
Seemingly destined for fame from a childhood, Parton learned to play the guitar when she was eight years old, recorded her first single at age 13 and even sang at the renowned Grand Ole Opry. After graduating high school in 1964, she moved to Nashville to become a country singer, and the rest is history.
Take a look at Dolly Parton's career and find out how she earned her fortune.
Already larger than life, Dolly Parton's net worth keeps on growing. In 2016, she added another $19 million to her fortune, according to Forbes — making her one of the richest female singers ever.
Notoriously down-to-earth, the 60-year show business veteran celebrated 50 years of marriage with husband Carl Dean in 2016. She's touched the lives of fans for decades — including goddaughter Miley Cyrus.
Like many other celebrities, Parton is a charitable star who gives back and has never forgotten her roots. In 1995, she founded Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, which mails preschool children books each month. To-date, the program has donated more than 80,000 books to children in the U.S., Canada and the U.K.
She was also quick to step in when deadly wildfires ravaged her home state of Tennessee in late 2016. Parton launched the My People Fund, which will donate $1,000 per month for six months to those whose homes were destroyed by the fires.
RELATED: Dolly Parton through the years
Dolly Parton through the years
Dolly Parton through the years
20th May 1977: Country music queen Dolly Parton is back in London after performing at the King's Theatre, Glasgow, at a Scottish Royal Jubilee Television Special in the presence of the Queen, she now commences on a tour of Britain and the continent. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
UNDATED FILE PHOTO: Singer Dolly Parton. (photo by Newsmakers)
NASHVILLE, : Dolly Parton (R) performs with Alison Krauss (L) during the 75th Birthday for country music's Grand Ole Opry 14 October 2000 in Nashville, Tennessee. Several country music stars showed up to help celebrate the event. AFP PHOTO/Neil BRAKE (Photo credit should read NEIL BRAKE/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 16: American country and western singer Dolly Parton poses 16 February 2001, during the launch of her new album 'Little Arrow' in a London record store. (Photo credit should read HUGO PHILPOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Dolly Parton performed with Brad Paisley at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center, Los Angeles, Ca. 2/21/01. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Dolly Parton accepting at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 32nd Annual Awards at Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers in New York City. June 14, 2001. Photo: Scott Gries/ImageDirect
NEW YORK - JULY 5: Singer Dolly Parton performs for the 'NBC Today Show Summer Concert Series' at Rockefeller Center July 5, 2002 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 7: Country Singer Dolly Parton performs at the House of Blues on August 7, 2002 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images)
LONDON - OCTOBER 8: Singer Dolly Parton poses for photographers on October 8, 2002 at the Oxford Street HMV store in London, England. Parton was at the store to sign copies of her recently released album, 'Halos and Horns,' which includes a cover of Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven.' (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 15: Singer Dolly Parton poses for a photograph prior to the Tennessee Film & Music Commission's industry reception at the W Hotel on October 15, 2002 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images)
BURBANK, CA - OCTOBER 9: Singer Dolly Parton appears on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios on October 9, 2003 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 15: Singer Dolly Parton (L) and actress/singer Reba McEntire appear on the set of The WB's 'Reba' at 20th Century Fox Studios on February 15, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 4: Singer Dolly Parton performs at the Weinstein Co. Pre-Oscar Party at the Pacific Design Center on March 4, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 5: Singer Dolly Parton arrives at the 78th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre March 5, 2006 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - OCTOBER 26: Singer Dolly Parton performs at the Country Music Television's CMT Giants honoring Reba McEntire at the Kodak Theatre on October 26, 2006 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
US country music singer Dolly Parton performs onstage in London as part of her 'Backwoods Barbie' world tour, on July 5, 2008. The tour will see her promoting the self-released album with concerts across the world. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 08: Musician Marty Stuart and singer Dolly Parton perform during Marty Stuart's 10th Annual Late Night Jam at the Ryman Auditorium on June 8, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 10: Dolly Parton talks to the media at a press conference at the InterContinental Sydney on November 10, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 09: Actress Dolly Parton arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Joyful Noise' held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on January 9, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
RANCHO MIRAGE, CA - JANUARY 24: Singer Dolly Parton Performs at Agua Caliente Casino on January 24, 2014 in Rancho Mirage, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 18: Stella Parton and Dolly Parton attend Stella Parton's Red Tent Women's Conference 2014 at the Doubletree Hotel Downtown on April 18, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 27: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Dolly Parton performs on QVC Presents, Dolly Parton Q Sessions Live from Nashville - Featuring 'Blue Smoke' Dolly Parton rehearses at NorthStar Studios on April 27, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Webster PR)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 27: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Dolly Parton performs during Dolly Parton Q Sessions featuring 'Blue Smoke' QVC Presents A Night In Nashville With Dolly Parton - Show at NorthStar Studios on April 27, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Webster PR)
KNOXVILLE, TN - MAY 28: Dolly Parton performs during a concert to benefit Dolly's Imagination Library & Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation at The University of Tennessee's Thompson-boling Arena on May 28, 2014 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: Dolly Parton performs on NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza on May 13, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
US country music singer Dolly Parton performs on the Pyramid Stage, on the final day of the Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts on Worthy Farm in Somerset, southwest England, on June 29, 2014. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Richie Sambora of US rock group Bon Jovi joins US singer Dolly Parton on the Pyramid Stage, on the final day of the Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts on Worthy Farm in Somerset, southwest England, on June 29, 2014. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Dolly Parton Songs: 'I Will Always Love You', 'Jolene' and More
Most people associate the smash hit "I Will Always Love You," with Whitney Houston, but it's actually one of Dolly Parton's songs. Initially released in 1974, the song was on her "Jolene" album.
Written by Parton and originally performed exclusively by the country crooner, the song secured the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs charts twice. Its initial ascent to the top was in 1974 when it was first released and it's second in 1982 when she re-recorded it for "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" soundtrack.
In 1992, Whitney Houston recorded the song for the film "The Bodyguard." Also a hit, this version soared to the No. 1 spot on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and spent 14 weeks there.
"The Bodyguard" soundtrack is one of the best selling albums in history, with more than 17 million copies sold. Additionally, Houston's take on "I Will Always Love You" has sold more than 6 million singles– and Parton owns the publishing rights.
Immediately following Houston's Feb. 2012 death, sales of the song surged to 735,000 tracks in a less than a one month span. This culminated in a $70,000 payday for Parton, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Total earnings from the song have not been publicly released, but Parton was expected to earn millions in royalties from Houston's version. Several other singers have also covered "I Will Always Love You," and Parton cashes in with every sale.
Celebrities with the highest net worths in 2016
Celebrities with the highest net worths in 2016
20. Tiger Woods Net Worth: $720 Million
Since turning pro in 1996, Tiger Woods has become one of the biggest names in golf. He has racked up 79 PGA tour victories, which have earned him more than $110 million in prize money, but that’s not where most of his fortune came from. Sponsorships from a slew of companies, including Rolex, Upper Deck and Nike — which pays him $20 million per year — turned Woods into one of the richest celebrities in the world and help him maintain that status today.
19. P. Diddy Net Worth: $760 Million
P. Diddy, otherwise known as Sean Combs, is one of the richest celebrities in the world, but he hasn’t had a hit song since 2004’s “Shake Ya Tailfeather.” Much of his fortune comes from his partnership with alcoholic beverage company Diageo, as he’s been the face of the brand’s Ciroc Vodka since 2007.
The initial deal called for a 50-50 split of the brand’s profits, which brought him an estimated $100 million. Now, Forbes estimates that Combs earns an eight-figure annual salary from the brand, and if it’s ever sold, he will get a nine-figure payout.
18. Madonna Net Worth: $800 Million
Madonna's been rocking the charts since the 1980s and shows no sign of slowing down. The “Material Girl” was named Billboard’s 2016 Woman of the Year, thanks in part to her status as the highest-grossing female touring artist in history. Her "Rebel Heart Tour" — which came to a close in March — sold more than a million tickets and grossed $170 million. And, since 1990, her shows have amassed more than $1.3 billion in gross sales.
A known philanthropist, Madonna founded the charity Raising Malawi in 2006 to help create a higher standard of living for Malawi children.
17. Dr. Dre Net Worth: $830 Million
He rose to fame as part of the rap group N.W.A., but Dr. Dre has become one of the most famed hip-hop producers of all-time. Dre co-founded Death Row Records in 1992 before creating Aftermath in 1996. Over the years, he's played a role in launching the careers of several iconic rap artists, including Snoop Dogg, Tupac Shakur and Eminem. However, the “Nuthin But A 'G' Thang” rapper's biggest payday yet came in 2014, when he sold the company he co-founded, Beats Electronics, to Apple for an impressive $3 billion.
16. Jerry Seinfeld Net Worth: $870 Million
Funnyman Jerry Seinfeld is one of the richest celebrities in comedy. His hit series, “Seinfeld” — which ran from 1989 to 1998 — brought him both fame and fortune, as he reportedly earned $1 million per episode during the show’s ninth season. In addition to starring in the web series, “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” and maintaining a busy touring schedule, he’s still raking in syndication profits from “Seinfeld.” In 2015, Hulu bought the rights to the show for a reported $160 million, and Seinfeld received an undisclosed cut.
15. Mark Cuban Net Worth: $2.7 Billion
Dallas Mavericks' owner Mark Cuban is one of the richest celebrities in sports. Before buying the NBA team, Cuban and his college friend Todd Wagner earned $5.7 billion when they sold their video portal, Broadcast.com, to Yahoo. Since then, Cuban has bought stakes in a number of companies, including Landmark Theaters, Magnolia Pictures and AXS TV.
Cuban is also known for his philanthropic endeavors. Following the June 2016 shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, the generous “Shark Tank” star vowed to donate $1 million to the Dallas Police Department to help keep the LGBT community safe.
14. Oprah Winfrey Net Worth: $3.2 Billion
Self-made powerhouse Oprah Winfrey overcame a tough childhood to become one of the most influential — and richest — celebrities of all time. From 1986 to 2011, she reigned as the queen of daytime television on “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” Today, Winfrey is the chairman and CEO of her own cable television network, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, the founder of O, The Oprah Magazine and the head of Harpo films.
The Oscar and two-time Emmy winner produced and starred in the film “Selma” and will appear next in “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” and “A Wrinkle in Time.” Known for her generosity, Winfrey has donated millions to various causes close to her heart, including educational programs and charities for women and children.
13. Steven Spielberg Net Worth: $3.5 Billion
One of Hollywood’s leading directors and producers, Steven Spielberg boasts a seriously impressive fortune. Since entering show business in the early 1960s, he’s won four Academy Awards — one for “Saving Private Ryan,” two for “Schindler’s List” and the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award — and garnered more than $9.3 billion at box offices worldwide, according to BoxOfficeMojo.com. The top- grossing director of all time, Spielberg is also a principal partner at DreamWorks.
12. James Packer Net Worth: $3.7 Billion
The former fiancé of Mariah Carey, Australian billionaire James Packer has been in the spotlight of late. And while news of the couple’s breakup surfaced in October 2016, Packer remains in the media.
A casino magnate, Packer recently unloaded a $448 million stake in Crown Resorts. He is also making money in the movie business. In fact, in 2006, he founded RatPac Entertainment with Brett Ratner.
11. Donald Trump Net Worth: $4.5 Billion
On Jan. 20, 2017, Donald Trump will make history when he becomes the first billionaire U.S. president. The real estate mogul earned his fortune by cultivating a large portfolio of luxury properties around the world, including hotels and golf clubs. Also a seasoned reality TV star, he hosted “The Apprentice” from 2004 to 2015 and will remain the show's executive producer for the 2017 season airing Jan. 2.
10. George Lucas Net Worth: $5.1 Billion
Creating the Star Wars franchise has made George Lucas one of the richest celebrities around. He founded his production company, Lucasfilm, in 1971 and sold it to Disney in 2012 for $4 billion. Since the sale, he’s shifted his focus from filmmaking to charity work. In fact, Lucas revealed plans to give most of the proceeds of the deal to philanthropic causes — primarily those focused on educational issues.
Lucas has a long history of charitable giving. In 2006, he donated $175 million to the University of Southern California, his alma mater. He also created the George Lucas Educational Foundation.
9. Richard Branson Net Worth: $5.1 Billion
High school dropout Richard Branson founded Virgin as a mail-order record company in 1970. Today, there are more than 100 Virgin companies, employing more than 60,000 employees around the world.
A phenomenally successful businessman, Branson is the only person in history to build $8 billion companies in eight different sectors. In 2000, he was knighted by the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace, making him Sir Richard Branson. He currently resides on Necker Island, a British Virgin Islands enclave that he purchased in 1978.
8. Ralph Lauren Net Worth: $8.2 Billion
He grew up in poverty, but Ralph Lauren has created one of the most successful fashion empires of all time — and developed a fortune that puts him among the world's richest individuals. In 2015, he stepped down from his role of Ralph Lauren CEO but maintained his chairman position.
Lauren has a car collection valued at more than $300 million, but the billionaire also gives plenty back. The Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation supports a variety of philanthropic causes, including the American Heroes Fund, the Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention, Habitat for Humanity and Polo Fashion School.
7. Elon Musk Net Worth: $13.3 Billion
SpaceX, Tesla and SolarCity founder Elon Musk is the inspiration for the modern-day Tony Stark. Already one of the richest celebrities on Earth, he’s now leading the charge to colonize Mars.
The PayPal co-founder is widely considered one of the most successful entrepreneurs in history, due to his willingness to take bold risks that result in major rewards. In 2015, Musk debuted his latest venture, OpenAI, which is a non-profit artificial intelligence company.
6. Michael Bloomberg Net Worth: $36.5 Billion
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg reprised his role as Bloomberg LP CEO in 2015. The self-made billionaire businessman got his start in an entry-level Wall Street job in the 1960s, before co-founding his own company in 1981.
In addition to running Bloomberg LP, he’s also a World Health Organization global ambassador. Over the years, Bloomberg has donated more than $4 billion to causes like gun control and climate change, according to Forbes.
5. Sergey Brin Net Worth: $37 Billion
Google co-founder Sergey Brin moved to the U.S. from Russia as a child and is now the richest immigrant in the country. Currently the president of Alphabet — Google’s parent company — Brin is known for his outsized sense of humor, devotion to Burning Man and penchant for giving back.
Generous as well as wealthy, he has donated at least $160 million to Parkinson’s research and $1 million to the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society — which helped his family settle in the U.S.— among other causes.
4. Larry Page Net Worth: $38 Billion
In a move that helped shape modern society, Larry Page co-founded Google with Brin in 1998. Once the CEO of Google, he shifted to a top spot at Alphabet in 2015.
Despite founding the Carl Victor Page Memorial Foundation in 2006 — named after his father — and donating hundreds of millions to charity, Page raised eyebrows at a TED conference in 2014, when he announced that he’d rather leave his fortune to innovators like Elon Musk than charitable organizations.
3. Mark Zuckerberg Net Worth: $50 Billion
When he was 19 years old, he founded Facebook in his Harvard dorm room, and now Mark Zuckerberg is one of the richest celebrities in the world. In addition to running a social network with an average of 1.18 billion daily active users, the Facebook chairman and CEO is focused on making the world a better place.
Zuckerberg and his wife, Priscilla Chan, pledged to give away 99 percent of their Facebook stock over their lifetimes. The couple also plans to spend $3 billion in the next decade in an effort to end all suffering from disease by the end of the century.
2. Warren Buffett Net Worth: $65 Billion
Largely considered one of the most talented investors on the planet, Warren Buffett is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Nicknamed the "Oracle of Omaha," Buffett is also one of the richest celebrities of all time, but he maintains a notably modest lifestyle. He’s lived in the same Omaha, Neb., home since 1958 — purchased for $31,500 — and drives a 2014 Cadillac XTS.
1. Bill Gates Net Worth: $90 Billion
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates is the richest person in the world. Along with his childhood friend Paul Allen, the Seattle native — and Harvard University dropout — started Microsoft in 1975. While he’s still a member of the company’s board, Gates has shifted his focus to the charitable organization he founded with his wife, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
A truly generous person, the richest man in the world also started The Giving Pledge, along with his wife and Warren Buffett, which encourages the wealthiest people on the planet to donate most of their fortunes to philanthropic causes.
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Dolly Parton Co-Founded Dollywood
Many celebrities have their own business, but Dolly Parton has an amusement park. In 1986, she joined forces with Herschend Family Enterprises to transform the company's existing Silver Dollar City theme park into Dollywood.
More than 30 years later, Dollywood is still going strong. The 150-acre park is the most-visited tourist attraction in Tennessee, with more than 75 million guests since its inception. It has approximately 2.5 million visitors annually, with one-day adult tickets priced at $67.
Located in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., Dollywood is Sevier County's largest employer. The successful tourist attraction continues to expand. In 2015, Dollywood's 300-room luxury DreamMore resort opened — a total investment valued at $300 million.
If you're planning a visit to the park, be sure to check the website first, as Dollywood hours vary. It's open roughly nine months per year and Dollywood's Splash Country water park operates from Mid-May through Labor Day. VIP Dollywood tours are available, so plan ahead to make your visit extra special.
Also an accomplished actress, Parton has acted in nearly three dozen films, television shows and TV movies — garnering more than $300 million at the box office. Most recently, she starred in the 2016 NBC TV movie "Dolly Parton's Christmas of Many Colors: Circle of Love." Next up, she'll lend her voice to an episode of the animated series "Lily's Driftwood Bay."
Parton has received several honors for her work. She was nominated for an Oscar in 1981 for Best Original Song for "Nine to Five" — from the movie of the same title — and again in 2006 for the song "Travelin' Thru" from the movie "Transamerica." Parton also received three Golden Globes nods for "Nine to Five," and one each for "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" and "Transamerica."
Five of her most successful films include:
"9 to 5" — $103.3 million
"Steel Magnolias" — $83.8 million
"The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" — $69.7 million
"Rhinestone" — $21.4 million
"Straight Talk" — $21.2 million
The Dolly Parton 'Better Day' Tour Grossed $34 Million
The country songstress really knows how to draw a crowd. Dolly Parton's 2011 "Better Day" World Tour included 50 stops from Knoxville, Tenn. to Melbourne, Australia, and sold nearly 275,000 tickets. It was her most successful tour yet, grossing $34 million.
Dolly Parton's age isn't slowing her touring schedule down one bit. In 2016, she kicked off her 60-city "Pure & Simple Tour" and released the new two-disc album "Pure & Simple with Dolly's Biggest Hits."
Fans were willing to pay top dollar for her first major U.S. and Canadian in more than 25 years. Prices varied by city, but ranged from $100 to $500 at Greenville, S.C.'s Peace Center. The $500 ticket price was the most expensive concert ticket ever at the venue.