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Dolly Parton Proves Once Again That She Is The True Epitome Of Class & Kindness

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On January 19, 1946, the world was blessed with Dolly Parton. The music icon who grew up in Tenessee as one of 12 children was professionally singing at just 10 years old and by her early 20s, she had several hits under her belt. 

Apart from being the iconic voice behind “Jolene,” “I Will Always Love You,” and “Coat of Many Colors,” Parton also appeared in several films and TV shows, authored books, and inspired the amusement park Dollywood. 

Besides being a legend in the music industry, Dolly Parton is known for her heart of gold. Her generosity and compassion have made her a role model for people of all ages and backgrounds, and aside from using her fortune to donate to various charities and becoming a voice for those in need, Parton has made it a point to defend those in need of a little compassion. 

Dolly Parton came to Elle King’s defense after King's controversial performance at the Grand Ole Opry.

A special Dolly-themed night was held at the Opry's Ryman Auditorium to celebrate Parton’s 78th birthday in January of 2024. The event featured artists including Ashley Monroe, Terri Clark, and Elle King performing some of Parton’s best hits. 

During Elle King’s performance of Parton’s “Marry Me,” however, she admitted to fans that she was “hammered.” 

   

   

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She slurred through some of the lyrics, cursed a few times, and even told audience members that they wouldn’t be getting a refund. 

Afterward, many people expressed their anger on social media over King’s performance, which prompted an apology from the venue, with some fans noting that Parton would have been “mortified.” 

However, in a recent interview with “Extra,” Parton encouraged people to cut King a break, calling her a “great artist.” 

"She's a great girl, and she's been going through hard things lately," Parton said. "She just had a little too much to drink, so let's just forgive that and forget it and move on, 'cause she felt worse than anyone ever could.” 

In a situation where Parton could have hopped on the bandwagon of those criticizing King, especially considering the fact that the event was intended to pay tribute to her, she chose to demonstrate forgiveness and support for her fellow artists. 

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This is not the first time Parton has extended kindness toward another person in the music industry. 

During Britney Spears’ ongoing conservatorship battle, Parton sympathized with the pop star. 

"I try to not get involved in other people's business. I think she is a wonderful artist and I think she's a wonderful girl. And I only wish her the best," she told Andy Cohen during a visit to his Bravo show “Watch What Happens Live.” 

"I understand all those crazy things," she continued. "I went through a lot of that myself through a big lawsuit in my early days with Porter Wagoner trying to get out on my own … I understand where she is coming from and how she feels. So, I hope that all turns out the way that it should." 

   

   

Parton’s kindness, however, is not limited to other celebrities in Hollywood. 

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Parton has donated millions of dollars to various causes, including education, literacy programs, disaster relief, and healthcare initiatives. 

When COVID-19 swept the world, Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University to fund their research about the disease which in turn hastened the release of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine. 

Parton has also made significant strides in improving education for American students

In 1988, she launched the Dollywood Foundation in her home county of Sevier County, Tennessee. Her goal was to decrease high school dropout rates. 

   

   

After the introduction of the Dollywood Foundation, dropout rates declined from 35% to 6%. 

In 1995, The Dollywood Foundation launched the Imagination Library, founded in honor of Parton’s father who never learned how to read, which sent one book per month to each child enrolled in Sevier County from birth until their first year of school. 

Parton has also been a consistent ally to groups of people who often face discrimination, including the LGBTQ+ community. 

In Parton’s eyes, she believes that we should choose to live, rather than judge one another. 

"I try not to get into the politics of everything. I try to get into the human element of it," she told the Hollywood Reporter. "I have some of everybody in my own immediate family and in my circle of employees … I’ve got transgender people. I’ve got gays. I’ve got lesbians. I’ve got drunks. I’ve got drug addicts — all within my own family. I know and love them all, and I do not judge. They cannot help that any more than I can help being Dolly Parton, you know, the way people know me." 

   

   

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Parton has commended the resilience and strength of the LGBTQ+ community, noting that they have been through more obstacles than we may ever know. 

“They’ve had to go through so much that I think they’re very emotional and tenderhearted and more open to feelings, so I’ve just learned the same things I try to learn from everybody,” she told Pride Source in 2016. “I know they’re good people and I’ve tried to learn from that as well. Most of the gays I know just want to make the world a more beautiful place like I do.” 

   

   

Those who have had the pleasure of knowing Parton personally cannot help but gush over her, and it is not just because of her successful career. 

“Dolly is so popular today because she has become more than a singer/songwriter,” Ted Miller, vice chair of the Dollywood Foundation, told the Spokesmen Review. “While she has earned a place in history for being multitalented, she is truly loved for her kind and true heart.”

Parton's kindness reminds us of the power of empathy and generosity in creating a positive change in the world.

While every single act of kindness Dolly Parton has ever done could never be condensed into one article, her greatest achievements have blossomed from her compassion and dedication to humanity at large.

Whether through her small gestures of kindness or larger philanthropic efforts, Parton’s acts of kindness and generosity have created and continue to create positive change that extends beyond her fame, leaving a legacy of goodwill and inspiration. 

In a world often marked by division and discord, Parton's example serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration. 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.