Betty White’s Favorite Country Song Is a Popular Tune by Dolly Parton

by Emily Morgan

Betty White, America’s favorite 99-year-old, is an undeniable icon. With a career that’s spanned seven decades, she’s truly had a life well-lived. In addition to starring in some of the most well-known television series and movies, she’s also a fan of another iconic figure: Dolly Parton. 

During an interview with The Boot in 2010, White opened up about her love for one of the singer’s most well-known tunes. She also noted that she appreciates the genre for its simplicity. 

“Country music tells stories, and it’s also basic,” White said. “It’s the kind of music that reaches right inside of you because it’s simple and it’s direct. I just enjoy it thoroughly. It’s relaxing and nostalgic. It can turn on some lovely memories and sometimes some poignant ones.”

In addition, she added that her favorite country songs include Parton’s “9 to 5.” “I like Dolly’s whole approach to life with ongoing and uplifting songs. I never met Dolly but everything I ever heard about her she was a great gal to know and you could kind of get it in her music and her voice and her approach to lyrics.” 

Another one of White’s favorite country songs is “Sixteen Tons” by Tennessee Ernie Ford. “I knew him, and Ernie was a very likable guy, and the power of his voice was amazing!”

Betty White & Dolly Parton: Two Selfless Queens

Both of the American sweethearts also have something in common: they love giving back. In 2011, White and Parton partnered with Paul Mitchell beauty schools’ nationwide network to raise money for charitable organizations. In 2010, the schools raised $1.2 million, bringing their seven-year total of fundraising to over $4.6 million.

If you don’t know, White initially began her career as a singer. In a 2012 interview with The Canadian Press, she revealed that she once had a very different type of entertainment career in mind. 

“[W]hen I was a youngster, I wanted to be an opera singer, so I took very serious singing lessons,” she said, adding that she doesn’t have an opera repertoire anymore. “So I vocalize [now] every once in a while, but only when nobody’s home.”

Even though she’s long been known as a comedic powerhouse, White has never been shy to show off her vocal chops. Throughout her career, she’s performed a wide variety of songs, from a rendition of “Getting to Know You” from The King and I to a duet with Bea Arthur on “The Golden Girls.” 

One of her best-known projects was a music video she recorded with British singer Luciana. The song, called “I’m Still Hot,” shows White being waited on by shirtless male models as she raps.