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Dolly Parton: ‘A fan once left a baby on my doorstep’

Dolly Parton (AP)

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Dolly Parton: ‘A fan once left a baby on my doorstep’

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Dolly Parton has stated that a diehard fan once abandoned their newborn outside her house, with a note saying the child’s name is Jolene.

The 65-year-old singer, who is now on her “Better Day” global tour, told Chicago’s Windy City Times that the event, which occurred after she wrote her iconic 1974 song “Jolene,” had stunned her.

“There are all kinds of things that people ask me to do but I tell this story and it’s a true story but freaky. Years ago when I first started being a big star I had fans that were fanatical,” Parton recalls. “It was when ‘Jolene’ was a big hit. We came home one day and there was a baby in a box at our gate with a note in it. The note said, ‘My name is Jolene, my momma has left me here and she wants you to have me.'”

Despite “freaking out”, Parton did the right thing by phoning Human Services and caring for the infant until someone arrived to take her away.

“We never did know or hear anything about it. I knew nothing else. What do you do in a situation like that? There are some loony people in this world! Can you imagine yourself in that situation? It wasn’t like it was a kitten or a puppy dog. It was a baby named Jolene!”

‘Jolene’ was a No. 1 Billboard Hot Country hit in 1973, so baby Jolene would be around 38 years old now, give or take. Yes, Parton admits that she occasionally wonders whether the baby discovered her music and became a fan, or if she has ever attended a Dolly Parton performance. She does, however, state that “I don’t think that person would ever even know about the way that went down. There was no way to track it and I didn’t want to.”

Parton goes on to say that she was unprepared and unequipped to raise a child. “I couldn’t take the baby and I didn’t want to be involved. I wanted the police and the people involved to know we had nothing to do with it,” she explains. “We just made our statement but to answer your question that was the wildest thing.”

Dolly Parton is presently on her global tour, which will be in Glasgow SECC on August 20. On September 7-8, she will perform two shows at London’s O2 Arena. ‘Better Day,’ her 41st studio album, will be released on August 29.

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