Last Updated: March 22, 2024
Richest CelebritiesSingers
Net Worth:
$650 Million
Jan 19, 1946 (78 years old)
4 ft 11 in (1.524 m)
Businessperson, Author, Singer-songwriter, Actor, Musician, Composer, Multi-instrumentalist, Record producer, Film Producer, Philanthropist
United States of America
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What is Dolly Parton's net worth?

Dolly Parton is an American singer, songwriter, actress, author, entrepreneur, and philanthropist who has a net worth of $650 million. Dolly Parton has been writing and performing hit country songs for over 50 years. To date, she has released 41 top 10 country albums and has had 25 #1 singles.

Dolly is most widely recognized for her songs "9 to 5" and "I Will Always Love You," which Whitney Houston covered for the feature film, The Bodyguard. During her career she has sold more than 100 million albums as a solo artist alone. That does not include the hundreds of millions of albums that other artists have sold using her songs.

Dolly has invested large portions of her fortune in her native Tennessee through philanthropy and entrepreneurial efforts. Her theme park, Dollywood, is the 24th most-visited theme park in the US, welcoming 3 million visitors a year. She had donated and/or raised hundreds of millions of dollars to support a variety of charities.

Key Facts
  • Has sold over 100 million records as a solo artist
  • Cover versions of her songs have sold equally well
  • Earned $20 million in royalties thanks to Whitney Houston alone
  • Dollywood theme park welcomes 3 million visitors per year
  • Has donated and raised hundreds of millions for charity

Early Life

Dolly Rebecca Parton was born in 1946 in Sevier County, Tennessee as the fourth of twelve children. Her father was a tobacco farmer. She would later describe her family as being dirt poor and remembers hearing that her father paid the doctor who helped deliver her with a bag of oatmeal. Music always played an important role in her life, and many of her early performances were in church. By the age of 9, Parton was appearing on The Cas Walker Show and later was signed on the small Louisiana label Goldband Records. The day after Dolly graduated from high school in 1964, she moved to Nashville. She found success as a songwriter very quickly. She teamed up with an uncle named Bill Owens to write several charting singles.


In 1965, at age 19, Dolly signed with Monument Records. She was initially marketed as a bubble gum pop singer. Her early pop songs were not successful. After one of her country songs hit #6 on the country charts as performed by another artist (Bill Phillips – with Dolly on harmony), Monument Records finally saw the light and gave up their pop dreams for Dolly.

Dolly's first single as a country artist, "Dumb Blonde," reached #24 on the county chart. Ironically, she did not write this song. It's one of just a few non-self-composed songs that Dolly recorded during this era. Her second single, "Something Fishy" hit #17.

These two songs were featured on Dolly's debut studio album, 1967's "Hello, I'm Dolly." The album also featured her own versions of several songs she had written that had become famous by other artists. The album peaked at #11 on the Billboard Hot Country Albums chart.

Porter Wagoner

That same year, Dolly was invited to begin making regular appearances on Porter Wagoner's weekly syndicated show "The Porter Wagoner Show." Seeing her talent and untapped potential, Wagoner would soon convince his label, RCA Victor, to sign Dolly. Porter also became her producer and purchased 50% of  Owe-Par, the publishing company she founded with her uncle Bill Owens. As such, Porter was heavily invested in Dolly's success.

Her first single on her second studio album, 1968's "Just Because I'm a Woman," was a duet with Porter.

Porter and Dolly would go on to release 13 studio albums as a duo between 1968 and 1980. Their albums produced 21 singles on the country chart, including the #1 single "Please Don't Stop Loving Me".

Unfortunately, Dolly's solo career was struggling to take off for several years. Finally, in 1973, she had an enormous hit with the song "Jolene." The song hit #1 on the country chart in February 1974 and did very well on the non-country charts around the globe. Rolling Stone would later rank the song as the 217th of 500 on its list of the Greatest Songs of all Time. Dolly herself would reveal that "Jolene" is the song that would be most recorded by other artists out of all the songs she has written.

For her solo work, Dolly moved on from Porter Wagoner in April 1974, though he produced her songs through 1975.

Dolly Parton - Richest Singers

(Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)

I Will Always Love You

Dolly began writing a song that would eventually be called "I Will Always Love You" in 1973. She wrote the song as a farewell to Porter Wagoner to recognize the end of their seven-year professional partnership. Elvis showed interest in recording the song, and Dolly considered this option until Elvis' manager, Colonel Tom Parker, insisted she hand over half the song's publishing rights. Dolly declined and proceeded to prepare her own solo version.

After being released on March 18, 1974, the song hit #1 on the Billboard country chart. It actually reached #1 on two occasions, accomplishing the feat again in 1982 after being re-recorded for the movie "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas."

In 1991, after watching an early version of the film "The Bodyguard," music producer (and Whitney Houston's mentor) Clive Davis was upset to see how little the movie actually utilized Whitney's musical talents. Clive urged producers, including Kevin Costner, to find Whitney a song to sing in the climax scene of the movie. Costner agreed with the feedback and decided on his own that the song should be "I Will Always Love You." Whitney's version spent 14 weeks at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and would go on to be one of the ten best-selling singles of all time, shipping more than 20 million copies. Whitney's version is the best-selling single by a female artist of all time.


Dolly earned $10 million in royalties in the early 1990s thanks to Whitney's version, roughly $20 million after adjusting for inflation. She would later joke that she made "enough money to buy Graceland" off the song. To this day, as the owner of the writing and publishing rights, Dolly earns roughly 8 cents per radio play and $2 per album sold.

Pop Stardom and Acting Career

Between 1974 and 1980, Dolly continued to chart country hits, with eight singles hitting #1. She hosted her own variety show between 1976 and 1977. Her 1977 self-produced album "New Harvest… First Gathering" featured pop songs and production. On the album, she covered R&B classics "My Girl" and "Higher and Higher".

In 1980, Dolly starred in the movie "9 to 5" with Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. She also wrote and sang the title track to the movie. The song "9 to 5" earned Dolly an Academy Award nomination and four Grammy nominations. She ended up winning the Grammys for Best Country Song and Best Country Vocal Performance.

Other notable Dolly films include 1982's "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," 1984's "Rhinestone," 1989's "Steel Magnolias," and 2012's "Joyful Noise."

Suzanne Cordeiro/AFP/Getty Images

Personal Life

In 1966, Dolly married Carl Thomas Dean. Dean shuns publicity. He spent much of his life running an asphalt road-surface-paving business in Nashville. He rarely accompanies his wife to public events. According to Parton, Carl has only seen her perform publicly ONCE.

Parton and Dean helped raise several of Parton's younger siblings, and although she has no children of her own, she is active in the lives of her nieces and nephews and is also the godmother of performer Miley Cyrus.

Tennessee Mansion

In Brentwood, Tennessee, Dolly owns a sprawling 60+ acre estate called Willow Lake Plantation. The main mansion on the property has a 23-room mansion.

Dolly Parton Career Earnings

  • Rhinestone
    $2 Million
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