Country News / Country music star Dolly Parton has never been ashamed of her poor upbringing.
The 69-year-old grew up in a one-room cabin in Sevier County, Tennessee with her parents and 11 siblings, and having such a large family meant money was extremely tight and some of her early songs, including Coat of Many Colors, document the hard times they went through.
But despite such poverty, Dolly insists she wouldn't change anything about her childhood, as it's made her appreciate the life she has now.
"I think my childhood made me everything I am today," she told Entertainment Tonight. "I would trade nothing for being brought up in the Great Smoky Mountains. I've never been ashamed of my people, no matter how poor or dirty we might have been. I've always loved being from where I am, and having the folks that I've had."
Dolly took her first tentative steps into showbiz as a child performer on the Cas Walker Radio Show before moving to Nashville when she was 18, and finding work as a songwriter.
Eventually she found success as a solo artist and has gone on to have huge hits around the world with tracks including Islands in the Stream, 9 to 5 and I Will Always Love You, but despite the wealth that has come with her achievements, Dolly will never forget her humble beginnings.
"It's made me what I am," she added. "It's that spiritual base; it's that family; love of family; it's just that simple life, feeling like part of nature."
Dolly's life is being turned into upcoming TV movie, Dolly Parton's Coat of Many Colors, named after the star's favourite song.
The movie is neither "a biopic nor a musical about Dolly's whole life and performing career, but rather a family-oriented faith-based story about the incidents in her and her family's life around the time she was nine years old."
Country NEWS / At 82 years old, Willie Nelson is still a remarkably active performer. Even so, the country icon — who scored a Number One album in 2015 with his Merle Haggard collaboration Django and Jimmie — isn't immune to the kinds of lingering maladies that accompany a well-examined life.
Recently Nelson revealed to the Washington Post that he had undergone a stem-cell operation to improve his lung health.
"Over the years I've smoked a lot of cigarettes, and I’ve had emphysema and pneumonia four or five times, so my lungs were really screwed up, and I had heard that this stem-cell operation would be good for them," he said. At the time of the interview (which was published November 12th), Nelson was still dealing with soreness from the procedure and had been "laid up" for two weeks.
A rep for Nelson confirmed that his recovery from the procedure was the reason he was forced to reschedule the opening dates of his Django and Jimmie Tour with Haggard. Originally set for October 15th, the brief trek actually started on October 21st. While Nelson presently has numerous live dates on his calendar, he won't reunite with Haggard until April 15th when the long-time friends host a three-night stand at Whitewater Amphitheater in New Braunfels, Texas.
In other Nelson news, he became the first country artist bestowed with the Library of Congress' Gershwin Prize for Popular Song in a ceremony at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C., yesterday. On hand to pay tribute to Nelson's contributions to the American songbook were Alison Krauss, Jamey Johnson and Rosanne Cash, among numerous other musical and political figures.
NEWS / LeAnn Rimes jokes she's already "been pregnant four or fives times this year" according to bogus tabloid stories.
The 33-year-old country singer is stepmother to two children fathered by her husband Eddie Cibrian, who she married in 2011.
LeAnn has no kids of her own and the star laughs whenever rumours emerge suggesting she is with child.
"I've been pregnant four or five times this year already according to false tabloid rumours," she joked to ET Online.
Speculation LeAnn may be carrying a baby first arose after viewers of her reality programme LeAnn & Eddie noticed she chose to stop taking birth control during one of the show's episodes.
LeAnn does many things that may lead strangers to believe she is pregnant, including taking prenatal vitamins, but the musician insists her choice to down the supplements is "not for any reason other than hair."
LeAnn is subject to mean commentary and some have even called her the "evil stepmum" in the past, but she won't allow cruelty to get under her skin anymore.
"I just kind of let the B.S. roll off," she noted. "People's attitudes -- it's like, 'God bless you for thinking that, and you really don't know my situation. Thanks for the input.'"
Despite not being pregnant at the moment, LeAnn is certainly open to having babies in the future.
She imagines her future child with actor Eddie would be very gifted as an entertainer.
"I think I would probably have a Baby Bjorn, and singing with the kid," she giggled. "It's hard to put them down. They're so cute."
LeAnn is currently promoting her album Today Is Christmas, which is out in stores now, and even though she appreciates her other half Eddie's opinion, the singer has learned to bypass his thoughts when it comes to evaluating her music.
"I don't really ask his opinion anymore, because I know he's going to be like, 'It sounds great, babe!'" LeAnn said. (Bron: MN News)