12 Reasons Why Dolly Parton Day Should Be a National Holiday

Nashville recognizes August 5 as Dolly Parton Day — it’s time for the rest of the country to, too.

Jackie Kolgraf
August 4, 2022

In 2019, August 5 officially became Dolly Parton Day in Nashville, TN, in recognition of Dolly Parton’s music career and philanthropic efforts. And yet here we are, working nine to five each year on every fifth day of August, not celebrating this date as the national holiday it should be. Dolly’s contributions to music and entertainment, plus her incredible charitable work, make her more than worthy of a day celebrated not only in Nashville but across the country — and here’s why.

1. Dolly’s Imagination Library has gifted over 150 million books to children

Launched in 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library is a book gifting program that mails free, high-quality books to children from birth to age five, no matter their family’s income. It began in Tennessee and grew into a nationwide project before expanding to Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland, and Australia. In just 15 years, the organization hit the milestone of 150 million books gifted.

Related: Dolly Quiz — How Well Do You Know the Country Icon?

2. Named the 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year

The first country artist to become the MusiCares Person of the Year, Parton “was being honored not only for her remarkable artistic contributions, but for her generous philanthropic work as well,” according to the organization. Fans can even watch Dolly Parton: A MusiCares Tribute on Netflix.

3. Had 25 songs reach No. 1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart

Between 1970 and 2005, those songs are:

  1. “Joshua” (1970)
  2. “Jolene” (1973)
  3. “I Will Always Love You” (1974)
  4. “Love Is Like a Butterfly” (1974)
  5. Please Don’t Stop Loving Me (1974)
  6. “The Bargain Store” (1975)
  7. “Here You Come Again” (1977)
  8. “It’s All Wrong, But It’s All Right” (1978)
  9. “Heartbreaker” (1978)
  10. “I Really Got the Feeling” (1978)
  11. “You’re the Only One” (1979)
  12. “Starting Over Again” (1980)
  13. “Old Flames Can’t Hold a Candle to You” (1980)
  14. “9 to 5” (1980)
  15. “But You Know I Love You” (1981)
  16. “I Will Always Love You/Do I Ever Cross Your Mind” (1982)
  17. “Islands In The Stream” (1983)
  18. “Tennessee Homesick Blues” (1984)
  19. “Real Love” (1985)
  20. “Think About Love” (1985)
  21. “To Know Him Is to Love Him” (1987)
  22. “Why’d You Come in Here Lookin’ Like That” (1989)
  23. “Yellow Roses” (1989)
  24. “Rockin’ Years” (1991)
  25. When I Get Where I’m Going (2005)

4. Had 47 Top-10 country albums

Released earlier this year, Run, Rose, Run became Parton’s 47th album to crack Billboard’s Top Country Albums Chart’s Top 10 — the most of any female artist. Here You Come Again (1977), 9 To 5 And Odd Jobs (1980) and Eagle When She Flies (1991) plus five others all reached the No. 1 spot.

Related: The Top 100 Country Songs — Dolly Parton, Carrie Underwood and More

5. Had 110 charted singles (so far)

Too many to name, Parton’s expansive discography has birthed charting singles in the triple digits. Starting with “Dumb Blonde” in 1966 and continuing all the way through 2022 with the holiday track “Cuddle Up, Cozy Down Christmas” (with Michael Bublé), she’s had charting singles in every decade in between and shows no signs of slowing.

6. Won 10 GRAMMYs, plus the 2011 GRAMMY Lifetime Achievement Award

Nominated over 50 times, Parton has won the following 10 GRAMMY Awards:

  1. Best Country Vocal Performance, Female for “Here You Come Again”
  2. Best Country Vocal Performance, Female for “9 To 5”
  3. Best Country Song for “9 To 5”
  4. Best Country Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocal for Trio
  5. Best Country Collaboration With Vocals for “After The Gold Rush”
  6. Best Bluegrass Album for The Grass Is Blue
  7. Best Female Country Vocal Performance for “Shine”
  8. Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “Jolene”
  9. Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for “God Only Knows”
  10. Best Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song for “There Was Jesus”

“Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” have been inducted into the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame, and Parton received the Recording Academy’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011, which is only given to artists “who, during their lifetimes, have made creative contributions of outstanding artistic significance to the field of recording,” according to the Academy.

7. Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year in 1978

Dolly Parton career was exploding in the ’70s, with three No. 1 songs in 1978 alone. When she received the honor of Entertainer of the Year from the Country Music Association, she became one of only seven women to win the award — the second after Loretta Lynn.

8. Inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1986

According to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, “Induction into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame is one of the nation’s highest songwriting achievements.” This was Parton’s first Hall of Fame induction, later followed by the Country Music Hall of fame, national Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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9. Inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in 1969

A weekly American country music (and the world’s longest-running) radio show in Nashville, often referred to as “country’s most famous stage,” Parton sang on the Grand Ole Opry as a 10-year-old and officially became a member in the late ’60s.

10. Inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999

Parton joined the ranks of artists like Emmylou Harris and Loretta Lynn when she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in the late ’90s. There are only currently 146 members in the Hall, with three new members added each year. Election to the Country Music Hall of Fame is conducted solely by the Country Music Association.

11. Received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane and Musical Letters Degree from the University of Tennessee in 2009

In 2009, Parton gave the commencement speech at the University of Tennessee in her home state. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Human and Musical Letters Degree in celebration of her charitable work centered on the importance of reading and education for children.

12. Will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame later this year

After initially turning down her nomination because she didn’t feel she “earned that right” due to her country roots, Parton decided to “accept gracefully” in the end. The Rock and Roll Hall of fame describes Parton as “a living legend and a paragon of female empowerment” who “is beloved not only for her prolific body of work, quintessential style, and philanthropic efforts, but for the humor, wit, and self-deprecating grace that shine through everything she does. Her crossover success broadened the audience for country music and expanded the horizons for countless artists who followed.” They list Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, and Jack White as her legacies. She will officially be inducted at the 2022 ceremony in November.