Many know Dolly Parton from her glittering musical career as a glamorous country music star, but she didn’t quite start out that way.

The Hollywood singer, who turns 78 on January 19, has previously described her family’s financial situation as "dirt poor" when she was growing up.

She was born in a one room cabin on the edge of a river and is one of twelve children.

Dolly made the most of what she was dealt and turned her talents to music and after a few small gigs on local radio and television.

The star crossed paths with the legendary Johnny Cash who encouraged her to pursue a singing career.

She took his advice but began by taking a back seat, writing chart topping songs for musicians such as Bill Phillips, Kitty Wells and Skeeter Davis, to name a few.

Dolly went on to break the Billboard Hot 100 and gained recognition throughout the seventies, a decade in which she turned down many requests to pose nude for Playboy magazine.

She did eventually agree to appear on the cover and her issue was released in October 1978 which showed Miss Parton in a black bustier and pink sequined collar, complete with a white bow tie and the signature Playboy bunny ears.

Dolly is also the godmother to pop sensation Miley Cyrus.

The Island In The Steam hitmaker came to be the Hannah Montana actress’ guardian after working with her father and fellow country music singer Billy Ray Cyrus in the nineties.

Billy and her mother Tish welcomed Miley in 1992.

Dolly has publicly spoken about her extensive plastic surgery procedures and famously admitted to Oprah in 2003: “It takes a lot of money to look this cheap.”

When asked whether she would continue going under the knife, Parton responded with: "If I see something sagging, bagging or dragging, I'll get it nipped, tucked or sucked.”

Dolly and her husband Carl Dean wed in 1966 and they have been married for 55 years. Despite Dolly’s global fame, somehow her spouse has managed to stay out of the limelight throughout their marriage.

There was once a conspiracy theory that he didn’t actually exist, which Dolly quickly dispelled.

The cute couple met outside a Nashville laundrette in 1964 and were married just two years later but Dolly has admitted she declined his initial request for a date.

She eventually invited him over and she told the New York Times in 1976: “""He came up every day that week and we sat out on the porch. I wouldn't even take him in the house."

Dolly recalled that when the opportunity arose: “He drove me straight to his folks' house and introduced me to his mother and daddy because he said he knew right the minute he saw me that that's the one he wanted."

So what’s their secret to a long and happy marriage? Dolly to W magazine in October last year: “My husband and I don't argue.”

Another part of Dolly’s life she has managed to keep on the downlow is her tattoo collection.

She has so far admitted to having a few cute butterflies on her body, in honour of her love for the tiny critters.

Dolly explained: “Butterflies don’t sting, they don’t bite, and they are so beautiful. I just kind of related to them with my own personality, I claimed them as my little symbol.”

Not much else is known about the singing star’s other ink but she has said that she got them for practical reasons, such as to cover a scar.

“I’ve had surgeries for different things, and if the scars didn’t heal properly, I just gotta put tattoos to take the sting out.”

“I don’t have the real heavy, dark tattoos. Mine are all pastel. And I have more than one!”

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