Dolly Parton’s Sister, Stella, Explains Why She Calls Herself a ‘Loner’ in Her Family

by Taylor Cunningham
(Photo by Jo Hale/Redferns)

Stella Parton believes she’s the family “loner” because she had to pave her way to success with less “talent” than her megastar older sister, Dolly.

Stella is one of 13 siblings, most of who went into show business. And while Dolly may be the most well-known of the Partons, Stella has been extremely successful in her own right.

At 73, the versatile star has released 39 music albums, acted on both the stage and screen, and published three cookbooks. She’s not slowing down, either. Stella is appearing in an upcoming film titled Nothing is Impossible. And she has “several projects simmering right now.”

On paper, Stella sounds a lot like her sister. However, she told PEOPLE that “everybody knows that I’m independent. I’m a loner in my family.” But that doesn’t mean that she’s not there to support her brothers and sister.

“If they need me, if they call me out to help with something, producing, consulting, or whatever, I’m always there,” she shared.

“They respect and honor that from me,” Stella continued. “But I’ve always been a steadfast, capable person. I certainly don’t think of myself as above average in talent or intellect. But I am above average in productivity. I will work hard.”

Stella Parton ‘Has Several Projects Simmering’

And her current list of projects proves just how hard of a worker Stella Parton is. Right now, she is re-tooling her 2011 memoir titled Tell It Sister, Tell It. And she’s also writing a screenplay and a “batch of songs” for a new album. She also said she’s open to doing another on-screen role if one comes along.

“I can drop that a few weeks and go do it and come back and pick [my other projects] right back up,” she admitted.

According to Stella, her ability to juggle so many pieces stems from the fact that she knows herself well. She understands her flaws and weaknesses, so she knows exactly how to navigate her personal and professional endeavors with ease.

While chatting with the publication, Stella explained that “being introspective” and “being reflective” is what makes her most happy. And she’s realized over the years, that she has to take care of her own needs first.

“I’ve tried to be good to everyone,” she added. “You don’t please everyone, but if your intentions were pure in heart, then you can have peace. That doesn’t mean that the world is peaceful. You can feel bad about what’s going on in the world, but you should have peace within yourself.”