"I look so artificial, but I think it's always worked because people know I'm real," she says Dolly Parton, one of the most popular singers / songwriters of a woman who The Guardian in 2008, described as "the biggest star country music ever ever produced" – as we sit down at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills to record an episode The Hollywood Reporter's' Awards Chatter' podcast.
The self-proclaimed "Backwoods Barbie" has been a star for more than 40 years, seamlessly crossing between the country and western genre and pop songs, including "Jolene," "Nine to Five," and "Coat of Many Colors "While while starring in movies and on TV. She has had a total of 110 singles hit the charts; 25 single or album releases certified as gold, platinum or multi-platinum; 26 songs Billboard'S country charts and 42 albums crack her top 10, the record for a female artist and the latter a record for any artist; and # 1 records in three different decades. She has also accumulated 46 Grammy noms (the second most of any female artist ever, behind only Beyonce) and seven Grammy wins; two Oscar noms, one Emmy nom and one Tony nom. And she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999; received the National Medal of Arts in 2005; was feted at the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006; and was presented with the Grammy for lifetime achievement in 2011.
Now, at 72, she is in the running for her third best original song Oscar nomination – she was previously nominated in 1981 for "Nine to Five" Nine to Five and 2007 for "Travelin 'Thru" from Transamerica – for "Girl in the Movies," a tune she cowrote, with 4 previous albums, Non Blondes lead singer / primary songwriter Linda Perry, and sings in the Netflix drama Dumplin ', which begins on streaming on Dec. 7. "I think it's one of the sweetest songs in there," says Parton. "I'm really proud of the whole project."
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Parton was born and raised in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee and says every Appalachian roots shaped the rest of her life. Born into a religious Christian family, he grew up with gospel music, as well as country music and bluegrass. As the fourth of 12 children, she craved attention, and realized she could get it by writing and singing songs and playing guitar. And as a young girl who "always felt so much more than how I looked" ("I'm not a natural beauty, but I always wanted to be pretty what I was, "she explains), she" patterned my look "after" the town tramp, "wearing, as soon as she could afford, loads of makeup, big hair and sexy clothes.
Starting at a very young age, Parton began making a name for herself. At 10, she was on the radio. At 13, she had a recording contract and was performing at the Grand Ole Opry, introduced by no other than Johnny Cash. At 15, she was signed into a major record label. And at 18, she left home with her uncle, who believed in her potential, and headed to Nashville. There, within 24 hours, she met a lot of people who have been her husband for the last 52 years. And not long after, she and her uncle wrote a song called "Dumb Blonde," which they sang backup for a more established artist. That led to widespread inquiries about the girl backup singer, which, in turn, led her to to one Porter Wagoner, the host of the highest-rated syndicated country TV show, who hired her to replace her singing sidekick Norma Jean. She was not immediately embraced – "My voice is so different, either you either like it or you do not," she said – but with time she grew on people, and Wagoner helped her with a deal with RCA, which catapulted her profile.
After seven years alongside Wagoner, though, Parton began to greet independence. "I could not just be a girl singer in somebody's group," she explains. I am not a person who can be controlled … Wagoner fought to keep her, and things got ugly – until she wrote a farewell song for her that Elvis Presley would later ask to cover (when she was away from the dealer, Col. Tom Parker, insisted that Elvis had half of the publishing rights and Whitney Houston eventually did: "I Will Always Love You," which remains one of the greatest hits of all time. Parton says, "I was free – I was free to be a girl, and after a family group called the Dolly Parton and the Travelin 'Family Band. . "
In 1974, Parton, now a solo artist, exploded on the national scene with four number one hits – one with a carryover from Wagoner, but three others as well. She began to cross-over into the mainstream – "I wanted to be more universal," she acknowledges, "I do not want to be pigeonholed" with every album Here You Come Again and his titular single, and acting with the 1980 film Nine to Five, for which she also wrote and sang the title song, and she woon followed the 1982 movie The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. He earned Golden Globe nominations for both performances, but cracks, "I think I made a better fur than I did a secretary. Steel Magnolias and 1992's Straight Talk, and many TV guest appearances.
Now comes Dumplin ', a movie that was inspired by Julie Murphy's 2015 young adult novel that heavily references Parton and every sayings. Parton says she was aware of the book when she first heard about the project Jennifer Aniston, who has been producing a movie version for Netflix and asked if Parton would provide music for the soundtrack in partnership with Perry. Parton, who had never been worked with a female producer, agreed, and she was so happy she did. "We just hit it right off," she says of Perry. "We're like music-mates." The Dumplin ' Soundtrack – which Dolly Records / RCA Nashville will release on Nov. 30, with the film, in which Aniston also stars, to follow on Dec. 7 – features a dozen tracks, six of which are Parton classics and six of which are news songs that Parton and Perry cowrote. On several of those, Parton duets with the likes of Sia, Miranda Lambert, Macy Gray and Mavis Staples. On "Girl in the Movies," though, it's all Parton, still as great as ever.