Country superstar Dolly Parton is one of 12 — yes, 12 — children. Here’s everything to know about her 11 siblings.
Dolly Parton is a country icon that needs no introduction. The singer-songwriter, 75, has a discography that just about everyone is familiar with, from “Jolene” to “Here You Come Again.” It comes as no surprise that she comes from a large musical family with siblings also in show biz. The Grammy winner has 11 — yes, 11! — brothers and sisters, ones who have collaborated with her on many of her projects.
Born in Locust Ridge, Tennessee near the Smoky Mountains, Dolly was born to Robert Lee Parton and Avie Lee Owens, the latter of which instilled a passion in music in all of her children. Dolly is one of 12 children: Stella, 72, Willadeene, 81, Rachel, 62, Freida Estelle, 64, Robert Lee, 73, Cassie Nan, 70, David, 79, and Coy Denver, 78. The country star also had three other brothers, Randy, Larry Gerard, and Floyd, who have since passed away.
“Singing was like breathing at home,” Dolly’s sister Rachel once told PEOPLE of their childhood in a 1982 interview. Below is everything to know about the country tour de force’s siblings.
Stella Parton, born Stella Mae Parton on May 4, 1949, is, like her big sister, a country singer-songwriter, as well as an actress, author, and public speaker. After launching her own record label in the 1970s, Stella released her debut album I Want To Hold You In My Dreams Tonight in 1975, going on to release over 30 more albums throughout her career. She has collaborated with her sister on many of her projects, including her films Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors and Dolly Parton’s Christmas of Many Colors. Stella is also the author of several cookbooks and a memoir, Tell it Sister, Tell it: Memories, Music and Miracles.
Willadeene, born on March 24, 1940, did not foray into the world of music like much of her siblings, but the eldest Parton child is a creative in her own right. Willadeene is a poet and author who has penned books about her family, including the collection of stories Smoky Mountain Memories: Stories from the Hearts of Dolly Parton’s Family and cookbook All-Day Singing and Dinner on the Ground: Recipes from the Parton Family Kitchen.
Rachel, born Rachel Ann George on August 31, 1959, is a retired singer and actress. She formerly sang in a band called Honey Creek, which she headlined with her late brother Randy. Rachel also starred in the ABC sitcom 9 to 5, which was based on the 1980 film in which her sister starred, between 1982 and 1988, playing the role of her sister’s film character Doralee Rhodes. She has also starred in a few of her sister’s TV specials, including Dolly Parton’s Precious Memories and Sunset Music Festival.
Freida Estelle Parton
Freida, born on June 1, 1957, is a former singer who used to sing back up for big sister Dolly. She dabbled in the punk rock genre for a bit. Freida is now an ordained minister and opened up a wedding chapel and antique shop in Sevierville, Tennessee called Parton Family Wedding Chapel & Antiques.
Cassie Nan Parton
Cassie Nan, born on February 12, 1951, is, like much of her sisters, also a singer. While she hasn’t put any albums out, Cassie has performed in various shows at Dollywood, sister Dolly’s famed amusement park, including “My People, My Music” with late brother Randy and sister Rachel. Cassie has also performed alongside her sisters throughout her career.
Randy, born Randel Huston Parton on December 15, 1953, was a singer-songwriter, actor, and businessman. He passed away on January 21, 2021 after a battle with cancer. He was 67. Randy collaborated with Dolly on many projects during the course of her career, last appearing in her 2020 holiday album Dolly Parton A Holly Dolly Christmas. The late musician often joined his sister on stage for her performances, playing bass and guitar in her band. Throughout his career, he also released his own successful singles, including “Hold Me Like You Never Had Me” and “Waltz Across Texas.”
Larry Gerald Parton
Larry, born in July 1955, passed away just four days after his death when Dolly was the age of 9. It’s unclear what Dolly’s younger brother died from, but his memory has often appeared in her works, including her 2015 TV special Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors about her life. At a press event in 2015, Dolly opened up about the “heartbreak” of losing her sibling. “My mother, through the years, when we were born, since there were so many of us, used to say, ‘This one is gonna be your baby.’ That just meant that you got to take extra care of it. You have got to get up with it at night and rock it back and forth. This particular baby that passed away in the movie was my baby,” she said. “So there is a lot of heartache and stuff that goes on with that.”
Floyd, born Floyd Estel Parton on June 1, 1957, was a singer-songwriter and composer. He died on December 6, 2018 at the age of 61 following an unknown illness, according to several reports at the time. Floyd was sister Dolly’s longtime songwriting partner, penning hits like “Rockin’ Years” from her Eagle When She Flies album and “Nickels and Dimes” from her Heartbreaker album.
David Wilburn Parton, Coy Denver Parton, and Robert Lee Parton Jr.
Dolly has two older brothers, David Wilburn Parton (born March 30, 1942) and Coy Denver Parton (born August 16, 1943), and one younger brother Robert Lee Parton Jr. (February 18, 1948) but, unlike much of their siblings, they don’t appear to be in show biz. The trio live low key lives out of the public eye, so not much is known about them. Back in 2017, though, Dolly shared a sweet family snapshot for National Siblings Day that offered a rare glimpse at the large Parton family.