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Dolly Parton (Photo of Dolly Parton)

Dolly Parton

Country music is a uniquely American sound, and Dolly Parton is perhaps its greatest ambassador. As a songwriter she is wondrously creative and astonishingly prolific. As a performer she is magnetic and effervescent. Her voice is an instrument of hope and joy when it isn't breaking your heart. "She towers above generations of artists influenced by her vocal and songwriting gifts," says one critic.