Editor’s Note: We’re resharing this article today in celebration of national treasure Dolly Parton’s 75th birthday.
Dolly Parton is a bit of an anomaly. Coming from the conservative world of country music, Parton looks the part of a dumb blond who plays by the rules of the Southern patriarchy. But she is anything but that. While remaining staunchly apolitical, she’s not afraid to speak her mind when asked and is often on the progressive side of the argument. She also has an extremely diverse fan base ranging from members of the LGTBQ+ community to conservative Southern truck drivers.
What’s even more perplexing is that she never seems to lose many of her followers for speaking out the way other female country artists do (ahem … The Chicks). Parton’s activism rarely comes across as reactionary; rather, she seems to be authentically speaking from her heart and a place of love. There’s even speculation that with her unifying presence, Dolly Parton holds the keys to healing our fractured nation. Well, truth be told. She actually has a head start.
Here are several times Dolly Parton has made our world better simply by being herself.