Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World - Ann Shen (2016)

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton (1946–) is an American country singer who has crossed genres, mediums, and generations, establishing herself as a living legend. She got her big break at eighteen on Porter Wagoner’s variety show; after eight years there, she broke away from Wagoner’s show to branch out on her own as a pop musician and actor. Her professional savvy and courage—she rejected Elvis Presley’s offer to cover “I Will Always Love You” because his manager demanded that she hand over half the publishing rights—paved the way for more young female artists to have a say in their work. She is also one of the few artists to have a Top 10 hit in each of the last five decades. Parton has always maintained a tongue-in-cheek attitude about her blonde ambition and her larger-than-life persona, while trusting her heart and working hard to expand her empire so she never had to depend on someone else. No question about her bad girl status: how many people have their own theme park?

“If you don’t like the road you’re walking, start paving another one.”