How Dolly Parton has changed the face of country music

It’s the late 1960s and it’s an intense period to live in and witness, students were beginning to pressure for more rights, the Civil Rights movement was flourishing, the Beatles were in the process of disbanding and rock developed new subgenres, includin


However, one music genre was brewing and undergoing a revolution in itself by pioneering its female artists and gradually gaining more fans and momentum: country music.



Born in the 1920s in the deep south of the USA, the country is the European legacy where immigrants from many areas of music brought their own instruments and folk and gradually merged together.

Women have rarely featured in the genre and for many decades it remained a predominantly male industry. However, one woman would soon break into the scene and change the face of the genre: Dolly Rebecca Parton.

After many years as a songwriter, in the late 1960s, Parton decided that the next best move for her would be to release an album and her own singles although it was difficult for a woman to do so.

Born into a poor family as one of twelve siblings in a small town in Tennessee, the artist soon found solace and a passion for music and writing her own songs.

In 1967 she released her first debut album “Hello, I’m Dolly” and peaked at #11 in the American charts. This was the beginning of a five-decades-long career for Parton.



Thanks to her persistence, dedication, and ambition Dolly broke the stereotype that only men were to perform country music and soon began appearing in talk shows and interviews with her discussing her views and encouraging other women to partake in the music industry to bring down stereotypes. Moreover, she gave a pop and melodious sound to the country and allowed many of today’s artist's inspiration to dabble in the genre without committing excessively.

The 1970s and 1980s were the peaks of her careers with hits like “Love is a Butterfly”, “Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You”, “Jolene” and “9 To 5”.

Many future artists would be influenced the charisma, talent, and uniqueness of Dolly Parton. Acts such as Taylor Swift, Shania Twain, Leann Rimes, Faith Hill and many more have mentioned her as an inspiration or have adopted a similar style in singing and performing.



With hits like “Teardrops on My Guitar”, “Our Song”, “Fearless” and “Babe”, all charting in the Top10, Taylor Swift has consolidated herself as a country-pop princess and is among the most successful artists of the genre and is a worldwide sensation!

Shania Twain is also considered a highly successful pop artist who has dabbled in country music with hits like “Any Man of Mine”, “Forever and for Always”, “When You Kiss Me” and “You’ve Got a Way”, Twain has not only hit the #1 spot in the Canadian and U.S. charts but has also dominated the Top 10 and 20 charts with her tracks.



With hits like “Can’t Fight the Moonlight”, “Love Is Love Is Love” and “Suddenly” Leann Rimes has also had a taste of fame with some powerful country ballads.




Hopefully, these young ladies continue the legacy of country music and inspire other young artists to express themselves and revolutionize country music. 


/ Popnable Media

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