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Dolly Parton worth $350M: Country star earned wealth through publishing rights and amusement park


She’s certainly worked 9 to 5 through the years.

And Dolly Parton built an estimated $350million fortune through her extensive catalog of publishing rights and her own theme park in Tennessee which she cofounded 35 years ago. 

The 75-year-old old icon is still building on her business savvy senses after signing a deal with IMG in 2019 to expand her brand into consumer products following an already successful, decades-long career.

Queen: Dolly Parton built an estimated $350million fortune through her extensive catalog of publishing rights and her own theme park in Tennessee which she cofounded 35 years ago; seen in 2019

Queen: Dolly Parton built an estimated $350million fortune through her extensive catalog of publishing rights and her own theme park in Tennessee which she cofounded 35 years ago; seen in 2019

Forbes revealed that Dolly’s largest asset is her theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, which she cofounded in 1986.

The amusement park is the biggest ticketed tourist attraction in the state and accounts for nearly 4,000 jobs, making it the largest employer in the community. 

The publication also estimated that Dolly’s musical catalog alone ‘makes up a third’ of her wealth at $150million. 

Her library of more than 3,000 song credits — including Jolene and 9 to 5 — is estimated to bring in between $6-$8million per year.  

Giving back: On an episode of Watch What Happens Live, Parton was asked by a fan what was the 'best thing you bought or invested in with money from your I Will Always Love You royalties'

Giving back: On an episode of Watch What Happens Live, Parton was asked by a fan what was the ‘best thing you bought or invested in with money from your I Will Always Love You royalties’

Parton originally recorded I Will Always Love You in 1974, though Whitney Houston recorded her version for the hit 1992 movie The Bodyguard, which she starred in with Kevin Costner. 

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‘When Whitney [Houston’s version] came out, I made enough money to buy Graceland,’ she told Country Music Television in 2006.  

On a recent episode of Watch What Happens Live, Parton was asked by a fan what was the ‘best thing you bought or invested in with money from your I Will Always Love You royalties.’ 

Parton responded, ‘I bought my big office complex in Nashville,’ adding it was the ‘Black area of town’ that was ‘off the beaten path.’ 

Dolly noted the strip mall was the ‘perfect place for me to be,’ adding the local demographics were primarily comprised of Black families.

'It was great,' she said. 'I just thought I'm gonna be down here with her people, who are my people as well and so I just love the fact that I spent that money on a complex and I think this is the House That Whitney Built'

‘It was great,’ she said. ‘I just thought I’m gonna be down here with her people, who are my people as well and so I just love the fact that I spent that money on a complex and I think this is the House That Whitney Built’ 

‘It was great,’ she said. ‘I just thought I’m gonna be down here with her people, who are my people as well and so I just love the fact that I spent that money on a complex and I think this is the House That Whitney Built.’  

She told Music Week in December that she was contemplating selling her catalog and making ‘a lot of money for it.’

‘I’ve owned my own publishing company for years and years and, as an active songwriter, I still write all the time,’ Parton said. ‘It’s very possible that, for business reasons, estate planning, and family things, I might sell the catalogue I have now. I’ve often thought about it, and I’m sure that I could get a lot of money for it. But then I would just start a brand new one, continue writing songs and, when I build that up again, sell it. 

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‘I would imagine I’d have quite a bit of money if I wanted to sell, but I would still have some control, no matter who I sold to, and my credit for the songs. There’s a lot to be said about that. As a songwriter, I never cared about the money. I did make money, but I always just wanted my name on my songs.’ 

Star power: Parton originally recorded I Will Always Love You in 1974, though Whitney Houston recorded her version for the hit 1992 movie The Bodyguard, which she starred in with Kevin Costner

Star power: Parton originally recorded I Will Always Love You in 1974, though Whitney Houston recorded her version for the hit 1992 movie The Bodyguard, which she starred in with Kevin Costner 

Dolly was revealed to have contributed $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee, for coronavirus research in April, after the hospital was ‘good to her and her family through the years.’

Earlier this year, US company Moderna announced its COVID-19 vaccine may be 94.5% effective against COVID-19, and Parton is namechecked in the preliminary report.

Dolly admitted she was ‘already at work’ and doing interviews when someone asked her on air about the vaccine.

‘I’m so excited about the news,’ she said during an interview with BBC’s The One Show. ‘I heard that yesterday and I didn’t realize that was part of the program that I was part of. So I feel very, very honored and proud.’



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