Dolly Parton’s Sister, Stella, Says The Iconic Singer Made Her Life ‘Miserable’ Growing Up

Since her rise to fame, Dolly Parton has brought so much joy to many people’s lives. While one might assume that the legendary singer has always been a delight, her younger sister, Stella Parton, says that there were times back in the day when the hitmaker wasn’t a pleasure to be around.

Stella and Dolly Parton
Stella Parton and Dolly Parton attending Stella Parton’s Red Tent Women’s Conference in 2014 | Terry Wyatt/Getty Images

Stella Parton once revealed that she was a ‘pain in the butt’ to Dolly Parton growing up

In the 1990s, Stella Parton appeared on an episode of actor Vicki Lawrence’s syndicated talk show, Vicki!. There, she opened up about what it was like growing up with her superstar big sister.

Parton admitted that as a child, she was a nuisance to Dolly, sharing that she always wanted to be around her.

Stella, Frieda, and Dolly Parton
Stella Parton, Frieda Parton and Dolly Parton in a recording studio in 1981 | Betty Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

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“Dolly and I are close to the same age. She’s three and a half years older than I am. I was kind of a pain in the butt to her,” the “Standard Lie Number One” singer said. “Because I was so close in age to her, I always wanted to do everything that she was doing.”

Like any child with a younger sibling, Dolly saw her little sister as highly impressionable and often used that to her advantage.

“I was just young enough for her to think that she knew more than me, so I always made sure that she lived hard for it,” Stella told Lawrence. “But she made my life miserable.”

Though it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns growing up with Dolly, Stella insisted that there’s always been love between them.

“I love her a lot. She loves me a lot, and I think we’re a lot alike,” she added. “Not because we want to be. We look more alike now than we ever did. Now I don’t have an image.”

Stella Parton says growing up with Dolly Parton wasn’t all that bad

Later on in the interview, Stella detailed her experiences growing up with the legendary singer in rural Tennessee.

“We shared a bedroom together,” the singer shared. “She was messy and I was neat. We would write songs together. She always wrote the good lines and would laugh at my bad ones. But it was not that bad.”

Although she had her share of enjoyable moments with Dolly growing up, Stella admitted that as a child, the “9 to 5” singer drove her up the wall at times.

Dolly and Stella Parton
Dolly Parton and Stella Parton attending the premiere of “Dolly Parton’s Coat Of Many Colors” in 2015 | Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

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“The main thing that I didn’t like was that she loved to tell dirty jokes and [Dolly and her friends] used to sit in the back of the school bus, and she’d always make me sit in the front of the bus because she said I was too young to hear the jokes they were telling in the back,” she recalled. “That would always just drive me crazy.”

Stella continued, “It was that bickering of two sisters. I always wanted her to accept me and let me be part of her gang, which was never going to happen.”