I don’t want to Gwyneth-bash, but I can’t say “I really admire her for creating something out of nothing, for feeling the artistic drive so fiercely that she came out of nowhere.” This is not a pulling herself-up-from-her-bootstraps story. The girl had every opportunity and connection from the get-go, which is not a bad thing at all, and I do think she works very hard in preparing for her gigs…it’s just that I find the results are just so-so.
Dolly Parton — I don’t know when the heck I started digging Dolly Parton, but she not only sings, she writes music prolifically and has a good sense of humor about herself. She wrote “I believe the children are our future” (whatever that title is) for Whitney Houston and I think the theme to 9 to 5. Husband and I recently heard a cover of her song “Jolene” by Norah Jones, John Mayer, and Keith Urban (I keep wanting to call him Keith Bacon) on the Grammys, and it was outstanding — good lyrics, cool tune. We were like WOW, THAT DOLLY PARTON IS FREAKING TALENTED.
I remember Sassy magazine (remember that one?) wanted to feature her in an all-natural beauty issue in the 80s/90s (I forget which decade). They published her letter politely declining the invitation with a P.S. that stated there was nothing natural about her.
And she actually is someone who pulled herself up from her bootstraps. She grew up in like a coal-mining town, as totally broke as her neighbor. There was nothing in her environment that encouraged her to become an artist, and yet she freaking did it. She wrote and sang songs from a young age and made it big, and I sincerely think that is because she is gifted. That is a markedly different path from Gwyneth’s (no offense to her).
P.S. I did not Wikipedia this story so if it’s a lie, let me know. This is just gathered from bits and pieces I’ve read over the years.