Dolly Parton in Christmas on the Square

Aside from Dolly Parton being a country music legend, the singer has always been the fourth of 12 children to Avie Lee Caroline and Robert Lee Parton, with her father being a sharecropper and construction worker to provide for his massive family in East Tennessee. Many of Parton’s siblings are still alive today, but the 9 to 5 star announced that one of her younger brothers, Randy Parton, has died at the age of 67.

Randy Parton was a musician much like his superstar sister, playing guitar and bass in Dolly Parton’s band, and even hosting his own show in Dollywood, the singer’s amusement park located in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Dolly shared the news with this message:

My brother Randy has lost his battle with cancer. The family and I are grieving his loss but we know he is in a better place than we are at this time. We are a family of faith and we believe that he is safe with God and that he is joined by members of the family that have gone on before and have welcomed him with joy and open arms.

In a message shared on her website, Dolly Parton also detailed that Randy Parton was an entertainer in Dollywood since 1986 and had popular music of his own, namely with their duet “Old Flames Can’t Hold A Candle To You,” which came out back in 1980 and she now calls “a highlight” in her own career. The siblings were partners through her massive music undertaking and amusement empire, and his passing marks an especially sad day for the country icon. Parton continued to remember him with these words:

‘You Are My Christmas,’ our duet on my latest Christmas album, joined with his daughter Heidi, will always be a favorite. It was his last musical recording and he shined on it just like he’s shining in heaven now.

Dolly Parton recently released her first holiday album in 30 years with Christmas on the Square, which featured 14 original songs tied to her recent holiday Netflix film of the same name. The album featured a ton of talent for her to duet with, such as Miley Cyrus, Michael Buble and Willie Nelson. But it’s her duet with her late brother that will remain in her heart the most, especially now.

Randy Parton was born a little over a week before Christmas, on December 15, 1953. Dolly told the Tennessean that she and the Parton family would always call him “Christmas” just for fun, leading the star to write”You Are My Christmas” to sing with him. It sounds like Dolly and Randy had a sweet relationship.

Dolly Parton just turned 75 years young this week and is still a major public figure, recently playing at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, among her other exciting projects. CinemaBlend forwards our deepest sympathies to the Parton family and friends following Randy Parton’s passing.

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