47 years and 42 albums into her career as a singer-songwriter, Dolly Parton is still being a boss. Her indomitable smile and colorful wardrobe has long since been burned into the psyche of the country, far beyond the fans of country music. In fact, earlier this month, her latest bluegrass-and-gospel-heavy album Blue Smoke was released, charting at No. 2 on the Billboard Country Charts, as well as at No. 6 on the Billboard Pop Charts -- making it the first time one of Dolly's solo albums has debuted in the Top 10 on the pop charts. And did we mention she's closing in on 70?
This weekend Parton visits Thackerville, Oklahoma for back-to-back nights at Winstar Casino. In honor of the occasion, we threw together a batch of our favorite videos of hers from throughout the years. Yes, we realize that this post could have just been "Dolly Parton's Top 10 Performances of 'Jolene'," but we thought it best to highlight her at her boss best.
One of the things that's endeared Parton to the world for all these decades is her smart, independent voice as a songwriter. Far from some ditzy blonde stereotype, she has a sharp wit and her lyrics have long championed the feminist cause. "Just Because I'm a Woman" is good an example as any, with some Texas-sized hair in this video to boot.
Speaking of the "ditzy blonde" stereotype, this truly old-school performance tackles that one head-on. This is Parton in her early days when she still comes off a little green and timid, yet that doesn't stop her from coolly brushing an all-time clumsy joke from the host that falls hilariously flat with the audience.
Of course, Parton isn't a legend just because she don't take shit from no one. (That's a big part of it though, boys.) She also has a serious set of pipes. Case in point: "Mule Skinner Blues." She's so legit here that she'll just lean on that guitar and not even pretend to play it, thank you very much.
Parton can make a great team player too, and this no doubt is her most famous collaboration. Except, of course, her entrance totally trumps Kenny Rodgers. And oh, that voice again! Did we mention that no one looks like they're having as much fun singing as Parton, ever?
And then, inevitably, it's back to clumsy jokes and passes. This time it's from none other than the Red-Headed Stranger himself, Willie Nelson, who most certainly is baked in this video and can't help himself from getting a little flirty. Parton's smiling response? "Let's just shut up and sing it."
How could this not be on the list? It's the bossest song from the "prettiest, songwritingest little blonde in country music." Oh, and that purple suit she's wearing? Infinitely yes.
DOLLY PARTON plays at 9 p.m. on Friday, May 30 and Saturday, May 31 at Winstar Casino, 777 Casino Ave., Thackerville, Oklahoma, (800) 622-6317 or winstarworldcasino.com, $75 and up
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