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Country music queen Dolly Parton’s signature look is instantly recognizable, but it was inspired by an unlikely source.
The larger-than-life celebrity said the look dates back to the beginning of her rags-to-riches road to stardom, CBS News reported.
The 70 year-old singer, songwriter and entrepreneur based her look on what she called “the town tramp.”
“She wore the makeup, red nails, red high heels, tight clothes. I just thought she was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen,” Parton said. “And people say, ‘Oh, she ain’t nothing but trash,’ but in my mind, I thought, ‘That’s what I’m going to be when I grow up.'”
Growing up poor in Tennessee with 11 siblings, Parton was offered a spot on country music star Porter Wagoner’s variety show in 1967. She made an impression with her singing and her looks, but Parton was not satisfied.
“I just was me. I was not a natural beauty, and I always wanted to be pretty. I always wanted to be flashy,” she said. “They used to always say that you know, ‘Less is more.’ I was the one that originally said, ‘No, less is less. More is more,’ and more is good for me.”
Years after the success of her musical career, Parton took the image she created into films like 1980’s “Nine to Five,” for which she wrote the theme song and got nominated for an Oscar. She also brought to life her version of a Southern belle in the 1989 hit movie, “Steel Magnolias.”
Parton’s first self-splurge was a gold Cadillac she bought for herself, CBS reported.”I thought, just like the big hair – you can’t be country if you ain’t got big hair – you can’t be country if you don’t have a Cadillac,” Parton said.
The cultural icon took her “town tramp” and turned it into a brand worth millions, opening a theme park named “Dollywood” in 1986 and getting inducted into Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.
Parton’s husband, Carl Dean, has been a constant support though he has largely remained out of her spotlight. The couple plan to renew their vows in a wedding ceremony celebrating their 50th anniversary this year.
Not one to rest on her laurels, this summer Parton is embarking on her first tour in 25 years promoting a new album, “Pure and Simple.” She also released an autobiographical DVD, “Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors.”
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