Dolly Parton Recalls Advice 'Not to Look So Cheap,' Modeling Her Look 'After the Town Tramp'

"It was really like a look I was after. I wasn't a natural beauty," Dolly Parton said of being told to change her "cheap" look, which she said was modeled "after the town tramp"

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton. Photo: Graham Denholm/Getty

Dolly Parton isn't afraid to look "cheap," no matter what her critics say.

The Grammy Award winner, 76, reflected on the worst advice she's received in her illustrious career as she appeared earlier this month on the WorkLife with Adam Grant podcast.

"The main advice that people wanted to give me was to change my look – to go simpler with my hair and the way that I dress," Parton recalled. "Not to look so cheap, nobody was ever going to take me seriously, they would say."

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton. Jason Kempin/Getty

She also explained the origins of her now-iconic signature look and how it matches her personality.

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"The way I look and the way I looked then was a country girl's idea of glam, just like I wrote in my 'Backwoods Barbie' song," Parton said. "People wanted me to change, they thought I looked cheap. But I patterned my look after the town tramp.

"Everybody said, 'She's trash.' And in my little girl mind, I thought, 'Well, that's what I'm going to be when I grow up.' It was really like a look I was after. I wasn't a natural beauty. So, I just like to look the way I look. I'm so outgoing inside in my personality, that I need the way I look to match all of that," she explained.

Parton has often taken pride in her larger-than-life fashion choices, famously proclaiming: "It costs a lot of money to look this cheap!"

RELATED VIDEO: Dolly Parton on Creating Hope & Giving Back: "Believe in Something Bigger Than Yourself"

The Run, Rose, Run artist previously caught up with PEOPLE about her ever-expanding business empire, which has recently grown to include a beauty line, a fragrance, a book with James Patterson and its accompanying album, as well as her Emmy-winning production deal with Netflix.

"I keep dreaming myself into a corner!" she said in December. "But I can't stop now. I've learned you can't just say, 'Oh, my dream's come true and I'm walking out of here.' No, you've got to show you're grateful and show that you're not going to just leave it all in the hands of other people."

"So, I'm going to be right here, doing what I'm doing, 'til I fall over dead," Parton added.

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