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Dolly Parton has always been a powerful force in the music industry. She balances warmth with a surprising level of boldness that has pushed her to groundbreaking success. She’s also always been true to who she is, something she puts on display through her fashion. Though she loves her style, she explained that not everyone warms to it. On one occasion, she was asked to leave a hotel because of misconceptions about her looks.

A black and white photo of Dolly Parton holding a guitar and smiling in front of a microphone.
Dolly Parton | Richard E. Aaron/Redferns

Dolly Parton has always dressed the way she wants

Parton knew exactly how she wanted to dress and look from a very young age.

“I really patterned my look after the town tramp in our hometown, the trollop,” Parton said on The Oprah Conversation. “The one that would kind of walk up and down the streets, get in a car, ride off for a few minutes, come back and get in another car.”

Despite others’ opinions of this woman, Parton always thought she was beautiful.

“She had all this beautiful blonde hair, red lipstick and makeup, tight short skirts and high heel shoes,” she explained. I just thought she was the prettiest thing I’d ever seen so I kind of patterned my look after that.”

When Parton became a celebrity, people tried to talk her into changing her appearance. Many believed she wouldn’t be respected.

“In the early days, a lot of people tried to tell me that,” she told Yahoo. “But I didn’t listen. And I’m still not listening when it comes to people trying to tell me what to do.”

She and her friend were kicked out of a hotel

Parton and a friend visited New York early in her career, before she reached the level of fame where she became universally recognized. While they were walking, a man began harassing them. Eventually, Parton pulled out a gun she had in her purse.

“So anyway, this guy would not stop,” she explained. “I said, ‘If you touch me’ — and I was really angry and scared — I said, ‘If you touch me one more time, I’m gonna shoot your, you know, crotch off!’”

Eventually, a man who recognized Parton helped direct them back to their hotel. They weren’t able to relax after the harrowing experience, though. The hotel believed they were sex workers and had locked them out of their rooms.

“They thought we were trash, and because we had one room, they thought we were turning tricks in our room!” she said. “They had put all of our stuff out in the hall and had locked the door.”

Their trip to the city ended abruptly.

“So, we had to go to the airport, get a cab and go to the airport, and wait for hours till we could get back home,” she said. “And I thought, ‘I’m never going back to New York again!’”

Dolly Parton eventually returned to New York

Though the experience soured Parton’s view of New York, she made a splashy return to the city when Mayor Ed Koch gave her the key to the city.

“New York is the center of the world and I just want to personally thank the people of New York who have done so much to help me on my way,” she said, per Gothamist

She also purchased an apartment overlooking Central Park that she used as an office.

“I love it up here,” she said of the apartment. “I don’t get here all that often, but it’s a good place for me to work, I write a lot of songs up here. Looking out over Central Park there’s just that little bit of simplicity, it almost looks like a country scene, and then to kind of look out and see all the buildings and the high rises. It’s like the country and the city, just this little part here, and I get inspired.”

RELATED: Dolly Parton Used to Get the ‘S— Beat Out’ of Her for Wearing Makeup

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