KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Dolly Parton added another accolade this week. The state unveiled a new Tennessee Music Pathways marker honoring the country music icon. Located near Parton’s bronze statue in Sevierville on the Sevier County Courthouse lawn, the new marker commemorates Parton’s music career and accomplishments.
Distinguished as a singer, songwriter, actor, businesswoman and philanthropist, Parton is the most honored female country performer of all time and among the best-selling country artists of the post-World War II era.
“When you think of Tennessee and music, there are key figures and places that often to come mind, and Dolly is one of them,” said Department of Tourist Development Commissioner Mark Ezell, “I couldn’t think of a better way to honor her great musical legacy and all that she has done not only for music across the state but tourism as well.”
Dolly Rebecca Parton was born Jan. 19, 1946, in the Locust Ridge area of Sevier County, the fourth of 12 children. Her earliest public appearances were in church. By age 10, she was on Cas Walker’s “Farm and Home Hour” in Knoxville. Her first record was released in 1959.
Among Parton’s accolades are nine Grammys, 10 Country Music Association Awards, seven Academic of Country Music Awards, and three American Music Association Awards. She has also been nominated for two Emmys, one Tony Award, and two Academy Awards, one of them for her song “9 to 5.”
Although she is regarded as a country singer and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999, her personality has endeared her to many who do not consider themselves country fans.
She continues to be actively involved in music and philanthropic ventures. Her Imagination Library has given more than 100 million books to children around the world.
“I want to thank Commissioner Ezell and his team at the State of Tennessee,” said Dolly Parton. “I am proud to be from Sevier County and Sevierville and this Music Pathways sign honors me, my family and my history there.”
Tennessee Music Pathways was launched by the Department of Tourist Development in 2018. The online planning guide connects visitors to the state’s rich musical heritage. Tennessee Music Pathways stretches across all 95 counties and features hundreds of landmarks including the Gatlinburg Inn (birthplace of “Rocky Top” written by Felice and Boudleaux Bryant), Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre, Niswonger Performing Arts Center, Grand Ole Opry, Beale Street, Graceland and more.