We Will Always Love You, Dolly Parton! See the Country Icon’s Transformation Through the Years

Ever since her rise to fame in the early 1970s, Dolly Parton has singlehandedly made the country fandom fall in love with her. The beloved “I Will Always Love You” songstress is not only acclaimed by fans and prestigious awards shows for her incredible talents but, overall, Dolly is simply a superstar human being.

Despite having a net worth of over $650 million dollars, Dolly wants everyone to know she’s just your average, run-of-the-mill type of gal. The “Jolene” singer exclusively opened up to Closer about what it’s like being a decades-long Hollywood star.

“The parties and seeing all the stars — I still get a kick out of it,” she shared at an event during Emmys weekend in 2017. “I’m a country girl. I used to think about Hollywood when I’d see it on TV. Now I get to be part of it. It’s fun.”

Dolly, who is best known for her legendary singing and songwriting — as well as the glitzy spin she puts on her country wardrobe — also dished the bit of advice she’d give to her younger self. “Wear more wigs! And makeup! More rhinestones!” the My Life and Other Unfinished Business author joked at the time. “And keep going. Write more songs. Do more movies!”

While the Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors actress — who has been married to her longtime husband, Carl Dean, since 1966 — has tons of advice to give thanks to her thrilling life, she noted she can’t take all the credit.

“My mother always used to say, ‘To thine own self be true,’” she shared with Closer. “That’s some of the best advice. I try to remember who I am, who my mama was, and what I was taught, and try to be true to my own nature, my own personality and my own talent.”

There’s no doubt Dolly has continued to stick to her humble roots despite reaching Hollywood superstardom at a young age.

Scroll through the gallery below to see Dolly’s stunning transformation through the years!

CMT Awards 1949

Nancy Barr Brandon/Mediapunch/Shutterstock


Dolly, who can be seen at age 3, looked cuter than ever as she smiled for a photo while donning an adorable dress.

CMT Awards 1960

Nancy Barr Brandon/Mediapunch/Shutterstock


The “Islands in the Stream” singer, who posed for this yearbook photo at age 14 in 1960, went to Sevier County High School in Sevierville, Tennessee.

CMT Awards 1976

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Dolly looked stunning as she sported her signature hairstyle while performing in 1976. The singer made her rise to fame with her album debut, “Hello, I’m Dolly,” in 1967.

CMT Awards 1977



Dolly can be seen arriving at Heathrow Airport in the U.K. At the time, the blonde beauty was set to sing in a Royal Jubilee TV Special for Queen Elizabeth. Just months later, she released her 12th studio album as a solo artist titled “Here You Come Again,” which became her first record to sell more than a million copies.

CMT Awards 1980

20th Century Fox/Kobal/Shutterstock


Dolly posed alongside costars Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda for their hit movie, 9 to 5. The beloved comedy wowed audiences and is still a fan-favorite today. Aside from earning three Golden Globe nominations for her portrayal of Doralee Rhodes in the hit comedy, she also received her first Oscar nomination for the “9 to 5” track.

CMT Awards 1983

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Dolly looked gorgeous while wearing a trendy denim jacket during an outing in 1983. We love her curly locks!

CMT Awards 1988



The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas star showed off her slim figure in an extravagant ensemble at an event in 1988.

CMT Awards 1991

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Dolly was spotted leaving Chasen’s restaurant in Los Angeles wearing a sexy black dress in 1991.

CMT Awards 1993



The Steel Magnolias actress stepped out for an event at Planet Hollywood in New York City in 1993. Dolly looked beautiful as always in a sexy white outfit with lace detail.

The following year in 1994, Dolly released her autobiography titled “Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business.”

CMT Awards 1999

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Dolly had her fit physique on full display as she was photographed in 1999.

CMT Awards 2002



Dolly looked happier than ever as she stepped out for opening night for Mums the Word on Broadway in London. The year prior in 2001, she celebrated a huge career milestone when she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

CMT Awards 2005

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The Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings actress donned a gorgeous yellow jumpsuit that featured eye-catching rhinestones as she attended her “Those Were the Days” CD singing in New York City.

CMT Awards 2007

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The “Coat of Many Colors” songstress was glowing as she stepped out at the 38th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony in 2007.

CMT Awards 2011

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Dolly looked gorgeous in a minidress and blazer as she appeared on London’s TV program Daybreak in 2011.

CMT Awards 2014

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Dolly appeared to be in happy spirits as she put on a show for a sea of attendees at a concert in New Zealand.

CMT Awards 2015

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Dolly sported an embellished white jumpsuit as she performed onstage at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

CMT Awards 2016

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The “Here You Come Again” singer was smiling from ear to ear as she attended the film press conference for Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors Circle of Love. Just months later, Dolly was honored with the Willie Nelson Lifetime Achievement Award during the 50th Annual CMA Awards.

CMT Awards 2017

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Dolly sported a little black dress and pumps as she guest-starred on The View in 2017.

CMT Awards 2019

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Dolly proved she’s one of Hollywood’s biggest stars as she performed at the 2019 CMA Awards in November 2019. Besides opening up the 53rd annual awards show alongside cohosts Carrie Underwood and Reba McEntire, the Grammy winner performed a medley of religious songs included “God Only Knows” with for KING & COUNTRY, “There Was Jesus” with Zach Williams and more!

CMT Awards 2020



Dolly was all smiles in a jean button-up and white tank top while hanging out at her Tennessee home in March 2020. She looks amazing!

CMT Awards 2021

Courtesy of Dolly Parton/Instagram


Dolly showed off her gorgeous curves in a Playboy-themed outfit while celebrating husband Carl’s birthday in July 2021.

CMT Awards 2022

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In March 2022, Dolly entertained fans with an amazing performance at the Blockchain Creative Labs’ Dollyverse Event in, Austin, Texas. She wore a rhinestoned jumpsuit with red shoulder pads for the event. The country superstar also sat down with author James Patterson to chat about their book, Run, Rose, Run, which they collaborated on and released that month.

CMT Awards 2023

Jason Kempin / Getty Images


In November 2023, Dolly showed off her svelte figure in a form-fitting black jumpsuit with gold panels and rhinestones at the Rockstar VIP Album Release Party in Nashville, Tennessee.

“I can’t tell you how proud I am of the ‘Rockstar’ album, and I can’t tell you how happy I am that it’s finally here to be released!” Dolly shared on X (formerly known as Twitter). “I really had a wonderful time working with all these iconic artists on the record and all these iconic musicians. Not to mention all these great iconic songs that I think everybody will love hearing again. I just hope you enjoy my version of them!”

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