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Cell phones have changed how we do many things, but country music queen Dolly Parton doesn’t rely on them as much as you might expect. No matter where she is when she has an idea for a song, she still reaches for a pencil and paper or a cassette recorder to make her notes.

Dolly Parton smiling on stage
Dolly Parton | Michael Kovac/Getty Images

Though Parton does have a cell phone that she famously carries tucked into her bra, she still prefers older, lower-tech devices to work and communicate with.

Dolly Parton only uses her cell phone for one thing

In February 2022,  Parton showed off her signature cell phone move for a T-mobile commercial that aired during the Super Bowl. Parton and her goddaughter Miley Cyrus teamed up for the two-part promotion to “Do it for the phones.”  

“When I see a problem, I am going to fix it. America’s got a serious problem, so I’m gonna get it off my chest,” says Parton, who then extracts a 5G phone from her ample cleavage. Parton filmed her part of the commercial in Nashville, while Cyrus filmed hers in Los Angeles.

According to Billboard, T-Mobile pledged to donate $250,000 to the Happy Hippie Foundation, founded by Cyrus to aid homeless and LGTBQ youth.

Phones like the one Parton brandished in the commercial are capable of a great many things, but she admitted on The Bobby Bones Show that she only uses hers for calls.

Dolly Parton called herself a ‘low tech girl in a high tech world’

In 2018 Parton addressed her low-tech lifestyle in an interview with country music radio host Bobby Bones, revealing that no matter where she is, she’s always writing songs. Sometimes, she even dreams them. “So, you will wake up in the middle of the night and go, ‘Oh, I have a melody,’ or ‘I have some lyrics,'” Bones said. “Do you have a notepad or do you type it into your phone?”

“I just have a notepad because I always still work like that,” Parton replied. “I still write all my songs longhand … I still work like I always did.”

Bones asked if she carries her phone around to take notes in, and Parton replied that while she carries her phone around, she only really uses it to make and take calls. Parton also noted that she doesn’t use apps on her phone and has her team take care of any social media.

“I’m surrounded with my, all my companies, all my friends … anything I want done, you know, I just tell them what I want out there and all that. …I’m a low-tech girl in a high-tech world.”

Miley Cyrus said Dolly Parton is ‘rarely on the phone’


‘Saturday Night Live’ Once Fired an Iconic Comedian Via Fax

In May 2022, Cyrus addressed Parton’s preferred form of communication and their T-Mobile collaboration on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

“So you did a Super Bowl commercial together,” Meyers began. Cyrus responded:

“Yes. … Which it was amazing, ’cause, you know she was doing it for the phones, yet every time I coordinate and kind of communicate with Dolly it’s still through fax, so I don’t know what she’s talking about … she’s rarely on the phone. Next time, we have to do it for the fax machines.”

Cyrus explained that while Parton isn’t a big phone person, she still uses it, although Parton hasn’t let faxing die out; ” … she does a fax, and then someone scans the fax, and they put it into a text message, and then that gets sent to me.”

Cyrus continued,

“And it’s always signed. …She also made me uh, she made me a demo one time where she talks about being super high tech but it was all through a cassette, which then she voice memoed onto a flip phone, which someone then put onto the iPhone, which then got sent to me.”

Apparently, and hilariously, the flip phone itself reached Cyrus via Fed Ex. Meyers went on to say, “I should make it very clear that while we’re joking about this, nothing would make me happier than if somebody knocked on my door and said, ‘Fax from Dolly Parton.'”