Dolly Parton Received Threats After Pissing Off the Klu Klux Klan With 1 Move

Dolly Parton has been in the entertainment business for well over five decades and remains as beloved as ever. The singer — who has also worked as an actress, producer, and businesswoman — first entered show business when she was just 10 years old, and her golden voice and sweet stage persona immediately made a splash.

Over the years, Parton has become a cultural icon, collaborating with fellow superstars like Willie Nelson and releasing popular movies and other projects. Still, there are a few groups who aren’t so fond of Parton or the loving spirit that she represents. 

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton | David Becker/Getty Images

Dolly Parton was born into humble circumstances

Parton was born in Pittman Center, Tennessee, in 1946. Parton, who has 11 brothers and sisters, was raised on a small farm. While she and her family didn’t have a lot of money, they shared a lot of love for each other and made the best of their often-impoverished situation.

Parton showed early promise as a singer and songwriter, and by the time she was 10 years old, she was playing the guitar and performing at local fairs and festivals. As Parton grew into a beautiful teenager, she began getting attention from record producers and executives, and after she graduated from high school, Parton made the pilgrimage to Nashville, Tennessee, in order to pursue a career in the music industry.

By the mid-60s, Parton’s songs were becoming popular, and with the release of the soulful ballad “Jolene,” Parton became a country music icon. In 1999, Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame — and for millions of fans around the world, she remains one of the greatest singer/songwriters of all time. 

Dolly Parton is beloved by millions

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Parton is known for her distinctive look and style, which includes blonde, feathered hair, lots of exaggerated makeup, and flashy clothing. She is also known for her more endearing habit of expressing love for all of her fans, regardless of their religion, color, or creed.

Parton has always been a unifying force in the entertainment industry, remaining humble at all times in spite of the vast fame that she has achieved.

Additionally, Parton has lent her time and energy to a great many humanitarian causes over the years, including, most famously, her Imagination Library program, which provides free books to children from birth to five years old — regardless of their family’s income level. On top of all of that, Parton is an icon for the LGBTQ community, having spoken up many times in support of her gay fans. 

Why did the KKK threaten Dolly Parton?

Parton has been very vocal about her support for her LGBTQ fans over the years — even when it lands her in hot water with specific groups. In a 2012 interview with Nightline, Parton opened up about her love for her gay fans, how she’s embraced her status as a gay icon, and how she was targeted by the Ku Klux Klan.

Parton revealed that after her Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, starting hosting an event called “Gay Day,” she received some unwelcome attention from the Ku Klux Klan.

“When it first started there were people giving us threats, I still get threats,” Parton said. “But like I said, I’m in business. I just don’t feel like I have to explain myself. I love everybody.” Parton didn’t discontinue the event, and to this day, she remains beloved not just by the gay community, but by fans all over the world.