Music

Dolly Parton’s ‘heart breaks’ after uncle who ‘helped her succeed’ dies

Dolly Parton mourns as her uncle, Bill Owens, passes away today at the age of 85.

In a post on her blog she wrote: "I’ve lost my beloved Uncle Bill Owens. I knew my heart would break when he passed, and it did."

The singer credited Bill for her success, saying his constant encouragement got her where she is today.

She penned: "I’ll start this eulogy by saying I wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t been there.

"He was there… there in my young years to encourage me to keep playing my guitar, to keep writing my songs, to keep practicing my singing.

"And he was there to help build my confidence standing on stage where he was always standing behind me or close beside me with his big ol’ red Gretsch guitar."

Dolly detailed how he took her to local shows and got her her first job on the Cas Walker show, adding: "He took me back-&-forth to Nashville through the years, walked up-&-down the streets with me, knocking on doors to get me signed up to labels or publishing companies.

"It’s really hard to say or to know for sure what all you owe somebody for your success. But I can tell you for sure that I owe Uncle Billy an awful lot."

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