Most would consider a philanthropic venture that created a vaccine for COVID-19 to be the pinnacle for their year as a businessperson. However, most businesspeople aren't Dolly Parton. A recent interview -- celebrating her being named one PEOPLE magazine's People of the Year -- notes that her fortune, at the close of 2021, is estimated to be worth roughly $350 million. Given that the country icon is 75-years-old and separated by 16 years from country chart-topping success (2005's platinum-selling Brad Paisley duet "When I Get Where I'm Going"), the fact that her brand is still so viable is quite notable.
Aside from her 2020 donation to Vanderbilt's medical school leading to the creation of Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine, she's also expanded her economic sustainability in the midst of generally less than normal times for most. The year has seen her beauty business launch a new fragrance, "Scent From Above," (with a commercial debut at the Super Bowl), continue her Emmy-winning production deal with Netflix, plus finish co-authoring a new book with James Patterson that inspired an album, which it is noted, via PEOPLE, that she has already penned 12 songs. Moreover, her name is still on her sprawling East Tennessee amusement park Dollywood. Dollywood's Foundation raised $700,000 for flood victims in Middle Tennessee, too. Plus, her quarter-century-old Imagination Library project, aimed at fighting childhood illiteracy, has now donated almost 170 million books to youths under five nationwide.
Regarding her secret of success, it's a powerful note to consider at a time wherein many may be feeling the stress of the times: "I keep dreaming myself into a corner! I've learned you can't just say, 'Oh, my dream's come true and I'm walking out of here.' No, you've got to show you're grateful and show that you're not going to just leave it all in the hands of other people."