Dolly Parton
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25 Dolly Parton Songs That Made Her a Country (and Rock) Icon

Country or rock, we're always in our Dolly era.

Performer, actor, philanthropist, theme park namesake, media mogul, rockstar and all-around cultural icon — Dolly Parton has done it all. But in between becoming an inspiration to countless aspiring artists, gifting over 200 million books to kids and honoring her Tennessee roots with a business empire, the country queen has been writing songs — over 3,000 of them in fact. Over her 50+ year career, the Smoky Mountain dynamo has written some of the most cherished tunes in country music history. She famously penned "Jolene" and "I Will Always Love You," two of the most cherished songs in popular culture,  in the same day — or at the very least in the same timeframe.

"It was right in that period of time because I remember all my paperwork, and like they came out pretty close at the same time," Parton said on The Bobby Bones Show of her 1972 songwriting streak. "So everybody said, 'What was you taking? That was a good writing day.'"

Her songs run the gamut of love, loss, faith, family, dreams and home. Even on songs she didn't write, Parton sings with such sincerity that you can't imagine them coming from anyone else.

In honor of Parton's rock era, culminating with the release of her 30-track labor of love Rockstar (out Nov. 17), which finds her collaborating with Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Elton John, Sting, Pat Benetar, Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Lizzo and many more, we've rounded up the best of the best from the queen of the Tennessee mountains. Here are the 25 best Dolly Parton songs, ranked.

Editor's Note: This story was previously published on Jan. 17, 2020. It was updated on Nov. 17, 2023.

READ MORE: Why 'Priscilla'Ends With Dolly Parton's 'I Will Always Love You'