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Country singer Dolly Parton, 75, has been left heartbroken at the loss of her uncle Bill Owens, as she paid a touching tribute to the man she owes her fame and fortune to. Her “beloved” family member died aged 85 years old, and Dolly admitted she will be “forever grateful” to him for everything.
It’s really hard to say or to know for sure what all you owe somebody for your success
She shared her eulogy on social media, where she looked back on how he had helped nurture her career over the years and got her to achieve her dreams.
The singer began: “I’ve lost my beloved Uncle Bill Owens.
“I knew my heart would break when he passed, and it did,” she said before confessing, “I wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t been there.”
Dolly revealed it was Bill, a singer-songwriter, that encouraged her to keep playing her guitar, to keep writing songs and practice her singing, while helping build her confidence for when she took the stage.
Looking back t her first ever job on the Cas Walker Show, she revealed that was all down to Bill, who took her “back-&-forth to Nashville” throughout the years and made sure she was signed to labels and publishing companies.
“It’s really hard to say or to know for sure what all you owe somebody for your success,” she said.
“But I can tell you for sure that I owe Uncle Billy an awful lot.”
Dolly continued: “Uncle Bill was so many things. He loved the music, loved to play, loved his guitar and loved to write and sing.”
She revealed the pair had written several songs together including their hit Put It Off Until Tomorrow, which they won an award for in 1966.
Bill’s lyrical talent saw him work with the likes of Loretta Lynn, Porter Wagoner, Ricky Skaggs, Kris Kristofferson and many others, while travelling the country with other bands.
Describing him as “funny, friendly and generous”, Dolly said: “He always had a kind word for everybody and gave good advice to young people starting in the business.”
She continued: “I bet a lot of our own relatives don’t even know all of the great things that Uncle Bill did behind the scenes through his life.
“But the greatest thing he ever did for me was to help me see my dreams come true and for that I will be forever grateful.
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Dolly added: “I’m sure that Uncle Bill’s friends, fans, his wife Sandy, his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids will join me when I say that we will always love you.
“Rest in peace, Uncle Bill.”
Fans rushed to the comments section to share their sadness with the star, as they sent their condolences to her and her family.
One wrote: “Then we all owe him a debt of gratitude. You are a blessing. So very sorry for the loss of your wonderful uncle. May he rest in peace.”
“Please accept my deep admiration and respect for all you do and for your Uncle Bill for helping you find your way. I’m sorry for your loss. Maybe Bill will let Elvis be in his backup band,” another penned.
A third said: “So sorry for your loss Dolly sounds like he was just a wonderful man I am sure he will be missed terribly but I am so sure he is smiling down at you and thanking you for sharing to the world what kind of man he was.”
“He must have been a great human being. It says a lot about a person when they do so many selfless things and so few even knew. My grandmother was just like that and I am so grateful to have had her be a big part of my life. So sorry for your loss, Dolly,” a fourth commented.
A fifth sent their love: “Dolly- You are literally an American Icon, and you done Uncle Bill mighty proud. May his memory be a blessing to you and to all of your fans.”
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