Dolly Parton Once Saved Up All Her Money So She Could Buy This Heartwarming Gift For Her Mother

Singer Dolly Parton might be worth $600 million, but this wasn’t always the case. The singer grew up “dirt poor” in rural Tennessee, where she shared a bed with three of her 11 brothers and sisters.

Parton’s family might not have had much money, but they did have plenty of love. And one year, Parton and her siblings saved up every penny to buy one incredible gift for their mother during those hard times.

Dolly Parton at the CMA Awards in 2016
Dolly Parton at the CMA Awards in 2016 | John Shearer/WireImage

Dolly Parton grew up in a one-room home

Parton’s current living situation is far from the way she was raised. The country singer grew up in rural Tennessee. She is one of 12 children, all of whom were raised in a one-room home. Parton’s clothes and toys were handmade, since her parents couldn’t afford to purchase the items for her.

Parton’s father was a sharecropper, and her mother stayed home to raise the couple’s large family. Parton once revealed that, when she was younger, her siblings would often wet the bed while they were all sleeping in it. Though most people would be disgusted, Parton once highlighted a silver lining to the bed wetters: The urine was warm on cold winter nights.

“That was almost a pleasure to get peed on because it was so cold,” Parton once revealed in an interview, according to Wide Open Country.

Dolly Parton and her sister, Stella Parton, in 2015
Dolly Parton and her sister, Stella Parton, in 2015 | Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

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Dolly Parton and her siblings saved every penny to spend on their mother

Parton’s family didn’t have much. When her parents were married, her father couldn’t even afford wedding rings for him and his wife. However, the wedding band was something Parton’s mother had always wanted. And a heartwarming story about the kids coming together shows just how close Parton’s family was.

“My mom and dad got married when they were very young,” Parton once revealed to Fox 17 Nashville. “They didn’t have the money to buy a ring.” Parton said that her parents “had a house full of kids,” which prevented them from spending money on themselves. One Christmas, Parton’s father had the idea of everyone pooling their money to purchase her mother a wedding band rather than spending gifts on each other.

“We were all for it, so we got to make a game out of that. Daddy said well I’m going to hide the ring and whoever finds the ring on Christmas when we give it to Mom, then they’ll get the special prize.” Parton said the prize was a box of chocolates large enough for the whole family, so regardless of who found the ring, everyone was able to celebrate. “Mama loved her ring, so that will always be special.”

Dolly Parton credits 1 person for all of her success 

Parton has become a household name; her fame has stretched far beyond the Nashville city limits. But Parton has one important person to thank for bringing her career to new heights: Her uncle, Bill Owens.

Parton’s uncle is the one who helped her earn some of her first roles. He taught her to play the guitar, and the two often wrote music together. Owens even helped Parton secure a performance at the Grand Ole Opry.

When her uncle died in April 2021, Parton penned a loving eulogy to him on her website.