HELLO DOLLY: Considering the vastness of Dolly Parton’s business ventures, the fact that IMG is now her first exclusive global licensing representative is an eye-opener.
The eight-time Grammy winner, who has been a client in North America of IMG’s partner company WME since last year, plans to delve into fashion, jewelry, accessories and home goods through the new deal. The multiyear pact is set up to help the country music star develop a lifestyle brand. But the truth is, she already is that and more. Gucci’s Alessandro Michele designed a sleeveless jean jacket emblazoned with her name and image on the back for the luxury label’s spring 2019 collection.
Aside from knowing how to make a statement on stage — wigs, sequins, bright colors and body-accentuating silhouettes — Parton also grasps what it takes to execute those ensembles. She and her creative director and wardrobe designer Steve Summers have reportedly been known to create about 300 outfits each year — down to every shoe and accessories.
Beyond her 1.8 million Instagram followers, Parton presents to IMG a built-in fan base. Five years ago, she passed the 100-million mark for records sold, and Parton continues to churn out country music, books and all kinds of content. With 25 RIAA-certified Gold, Platinum and multi-Platinum awards, Parton has had 26 songs reach number one on the Billboard country charts, a record for a female artist. In addition to her Grammy Awards, she has won 10 Country Music Association Awards, five Academy of Country Music Awards, four People’s Choice Awards, and three American Music Awards.
Next year will mark the 33rd anniversary season for her theme park Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., which welcomes 2 million visitors annually. As the name suggests, Dolly Parton’s Stampede dinner attraction is a Wild West show with rodeo events, trick riding and audience participation. (Be warned.)
Earlier this month, Parton sponsored NASCAR’s Xfinity series team at the Alsco 300 at Bristol Motor. This spring, her Pirates Voyages Dinner & Show — where diners catch an acrobatic competition, sea lions and a pirate-themed Christmas experience — will be rolled out to Pigeon Forge. The ever-working Parton previously described the effort as “kind of like writing ‘9 to 5 The Musical.’ I had never done anything like that either. I love having a challenge.”
Parton said in a statement: “I am excited to be working with IMG on a global scale to give my fans products that they will cherish for years to come. You might even see my mug on a mug.”