Dolly Parton: Country music singer says she has Welsh ancestry


Country music star Dolly Parton’s family originally hails from Wales, according to reports.

Parton’s niece, Jada Star, told The Sun that her aunt had traced her ancestry to the Welsh valleys for a TV programme to be aired next year.

“Dolly is exactly as you would imagine her as an aunt,” Ms Star told the newspaper.

Parton, who was born in Tennessee, has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

It’s not the first time the 9-5 singer has been linked to Wales.

In 2008, during a concert at the Cardiff International Arena, the superstar reportedly told fans in the crowd that she had Welsh ancestry.

“Some of my mother’s people, the Owens, are from there (Wales),” Parton later told Wales Online.

“I’ve been there about three times and it always feels good because it feels like family.”

Singer Bronwen Lewis said she always knew there was something extra that she loved about Dolly Parton and turned out it was her roots.

“I have been inspired by Dolly Parton my whole life. I always say there are two main women in my life, my mother and Dolly Parton,” she said.

Lewis who hosts a country show on BBC Radio Wales said the country singer would be right at home in the Valleys.

“She’d fit right in. A person who loves music, big heart and time for everyone. I think that’s what being Welsh is all about.”

Bronwen, who is from Seven Sisters in the Neath Valley, has been translating well-known songs from English to Welsh for her 46,000 TikTok followers since lockdown.

She said something about Dolly Parton’s music made it easy to do.

“They almost sound like Welsh hymns, some of them,” she said.

They’re very similar to folk and Celtic music, not just country. I feel like it would make sense that she has heritage here.”

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