The Price Dolly Parton Paid To Be A Superstar
In a small rural town in Tennessee, a young girl with a big voice and even bigger dreams set out on a journey that would change the world of country music. Little did she know that her aspirations would lead her to become one of the most beloved and enduring superstars of our time.
The person we’re talking about is none other than the beloved Dolly Parton, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2022. From humble beginnings in rural Tennessee to the bright lights of Nashville and beyond, Dolly Parton’s meteoric rise to fame is a testament to her talent, hard work, and determination. However, like everything else, this also came with a price, which she could luckily conquer.
Years ago, in a 1980 interview with Rolling Stone, Parton was asked about the price she had to pay to become a superstar. In her humble answer, she explained how she did not even think she was one. Emphasizing her point about only being someone who does her best in her work life while also having a fulfilling personal life, the musician went on to say that she made sure to give her fans attention while protecting her own time and life.
A part of her answer, which displayed her point clearly, went as follows:
“Well, I’m not really sure because I doubt that I’ll even know it if I am. It’s just that I’m tryin’ to do everything I’m capable of doin’ and have a perfect balance in my life – to be successful at my work and at bein’ a wife and a sister and a friend.
I have to have all of those things in their proper place. I don’t want to be a star if I have no life. I’m not willing to be like Elvis [Presley], who had no personal life. If I want to go out to a movie, I just go out to a movie. If I want to go out to supper, I go out to supper because I happen to feel that I have no reason to be afraid of the people.”
As her career unfolded over five decades, she garnered countless hits and numerous awards. She became a cornerstone of the country music scene, but her priorities remained grounded. With her magnetic personality, heartfelt lyrics, and incredible voice, she captured the hearts of millions, all while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
The country legend also touched on her appreciation for her fans and her desire to connect with them in the same interview. She made sure to always be friendly and approachable, but she never let her fame infringe on her personal time. In order to maintain her privacy, Dolly would often escape the limelight by embarking on camping trips or traveling cross-country in a station wagon.
Her wisdom transcended the pitfalls of fame as she reflected on the dangers of celebrities losing touch with reality. She saw her fame as a stroke of luck rather than an elevated status and was determined to stay connected to her roots. Her empathy for those who had fallen victim to the pitfalls of fame served as a reminder to always remain humble.
She elaborated on her point decades ago by stating:
“I think one of the big mistakes celebrities make is that they think because they are so popular, it sets them apart and makes them like gods instead of just extremely lucky people. I really feel sorry for a whole lot of stars, and I hope and pray I never get that way. I don’t really believe I will.”