Dolly Parton mourned her uncle Billy Earl Owens on Wednesday after his death at 85.
“I lost my beloved uncle Bill Owens,” Parton, 75, said in an Instagram post. “I knew my heart would break when he passed, and it does. I will begin this eulogy by saying that I wouldn’t be here if it hadn’t been for it.
The iconic singer-songwriter thanked Owens for his unwavering support throughout his career as a musical artist.
RIP: Dolly Parton, 75, mourned her uncle Billy Earl Owens on Wednesday after his death at 85
“He was there… there in my youth to encourage me to keep playing guitar, to keep writing my songs, to keep practicing my singing,” Parton said. “And he was there to help me build my confidence standing on stage where he always stood behind or near me with his big red Gretsch guitar.
The Locust Ridge, Tennessee native said Owens ‘was there to take me to all the local shows’ and got her her ‘first job at the Cas Walker Show’, while supporting her tirelessly by as an unsung hero in the early days of his career.
“He’s taken me – and – to Nashville over the years, walked the streets with me, knocking on doors to sign me up for labels or publishing houses, ‘artist Jolene. “It’s really hard to say or know for sure what you owe someone for your success. But I can tell you with certainty that I owe Uncle Billy a great deal.
The 9TB 5 star, in a lengthy statement on its website, said, “I knew my heart would break when it passed, and it did. “
Locust Ridge, native of Tennessee, snapped up in December, credited deceased uncle as unsung hero of his career
Caption: Parton was pictured performing on stage at the 2019 Grammy Awards
The Islands In the Stream singer credited Owens for her musical abilities that inspired her in her early days, as well as for their collaborations.
“Uncle Bill was so many things,” she said. “He loved music, loved to play, loved his guitar, and loved to write and sing. He’s written great songs, at least 800 of them over the years.
“We wrote several songs together, the most important being Put It Off Until Tomorrow. We won our first grand prize for that one in 1966. It was the BMI song of the year.
She noted that the songs Owens wrote were then recorded by vaunted artists such as Loretta Lynn, Porter Wagoner, Ricky Skaggs, Kris Kristofferson and many more.
Parton detailed a number of efforts Owens undertook throughout his life, from his work at his Dollywood theme park to his environmental efforts to protect endangered trees and plant thousands of them. other.
“I bet a lot of our loved ones don’t even know all the great things Uncle Bill has done behind the scenes in his life,” she said. “But the greatest thing he ever did for me was help me see my dreams come true and for that I will be eternally grateful.
“I’m sure Uncle Bill’s friends, fans, wife Sandy, kids, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will join me when I tell you that we will love you forever. Rest in peace, Uncle Bill.