‘Dolly Parton: Here I Am’ Pulls the Curtain Back on the Artist Behind the Glitz

Dolly Parton In 'Rhinestone'
20th Century-Fox/Getty Images

“It’s a good thing I was born a girl; otherwise, I’d be a drag queen!” Dolly Parton once joked.

With the big hair, big bosom and even bigger personality, the American icon has long played up her over-the-top image. But with the documentary Dolly: Here I Am, she pulls back the curtain to reveal the artist behind the glitz.

“I…take my songwriting more serious than anything else,” says Parton, who penned “9 to 5” and dozens of other hits. “It’s my way of expressing myself.”

The 90-minute film takes viewers on a journey from her early days struggling in Nashville (“[I] cried myself to sleep every night,” she recalls) to her 50th anniversary show at the Grand Ole Opry in 2019.

Dolly Parton

(Credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Throughout, friends like Jane Fonda share why they think Parton has endured: “Through her songs, she opens her arms wide and embraces such a broad swath of people that don’t always feel seen.” Drag queens included.

Dolly Parton: Here I Am, Documentary, Streaming now, Netflix