Dolly Parton’s Brother, Singer Randy Parton, Has Died
Randy Parton, a singer and songwriter who is the younger brother to Dolly Parton, has died. The 67-year-old is most recently remembered for his duet on his sister's 2020 Christmas album; she shared that "You Are My Christmas" was actually his final song.
Randy Parton died after a battle with cancer, his older sister shared on Facebook on Thursday morning (Jan. 21).
"The family and I are grieving his loss but we know he is in a better place than we are at this time," Dolly Parton writes. "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."
Randy Parton was the eighth of 12 kids born to Robert and Avie Lee (Dolly was their fourth) and the second of the Hall of Famer's siblings to die in recent years, following Floyd Parton, who died in December of 2018 at age 61. Randy, too, was instrumental in Dolly's career, having played guitar and bass in her band for many years and having had his own show at Dollywood since 1986.
While Dolly and sister Stella Parton were the only ones in the family with hit songs, Randy Parton did have a few minor radio successes in the 1980s, including "Hold Me Like You Never Had Me" and "Shot Full of Love," both Top 40 airplay hits. Dolly points out that Randy also sang a duet with her, "Old Flames Can't Hold a Candle to You," that "will always be a highlight in my own career."
Late in his career, Randy Parton reached to have his own entertainment venue, separate from his older sister. The Randy Parton Theater in Roanoke Rapids, N.C., gave him room to manage and perform regularly, but the deal fell apart soon after the theater's opening. Lack of ticket sales, insufficient infrastructure and an entertainment complex that never materialized doomed the project to the point that, within a year, it was renamed the Roanoke Rapids Theater and Parton was off the project.
Randy Parton is survived by his wife Deb, daughter Heidi, son Sabyn and grandsons Huston and Trent. He and Dolly are described as being very close by a representative of hers.
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