Country music star Dolly Parton turns 70 today!
The singer, who is adored by audiences around the world, was born in Sevier County, Tennessee, 70 years ago today.
Parton – who has previously voiced her strong support for same-sex marriage – has said she will always “completely love and accept” her gay fans.
“I’ve struggled enough in my life to be appreciated and understood,” she said.
“I’ve had to go against all kinds of people through the years just to be myself. I think everybody should be allowed to be who they are, and to love who they love.
The star – whose gay icon status was cemented when she appeared in 9 to 5 opposite Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin – has become a popular target for female impersonators and drag artists.
Addressing the boom in queens modelling themselves on her peroxide blonde hair and eye-catching make-up, she said: “Be totally accepting.”
“I have a huge gay following and there’s a lot of Dolly drag queens out there, and I’m always flattered by that.”
Back in 2012, Parton dispelled any rumours that she herself was gay.
Last year she took to social media to dispel rumours that she had cancer.