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Dolly Parton says her ‘heart is broken’ following death of beloved uncle Billy

Country legend Dolly Parton is mourning the loss of her uncle Billy Earl Owens following his death at the age of 85.

The veteran singer, 75, penned a touching farewell to her uncle in which she said she owes him for “an awful lot”.

Taking to her personal website and social media pages, the iconic singer-songwriter said: “I knew my heart would break when he passed, and it did.

“I’ll start this eulogy by saying I wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t been there.

She described her uncle as “funny, friendly and generous”.

Dolly went on to reveal how it was her uncle who got her her first job on the Cas Walker Show and told how it was “really hard to say or to know for sure what all you owe somebody for your success”.

Dolly Parton’s Instagram post following the death of her Uncle Billy

The Islands In the Stream singer said her uncle’s musical abilities inspired her in her early days and the pair worked on collaborations together including Put It Off Until Tomorrow.

She also revealed that his lyrics were also performed by other artists including Loretta Lynn, Porter Wagoner, Ricky Skaggs and Kris Kristofferson.

Dolly went on to detail some of her uncle’s other work in his life, including work at her amusement park Dollywood and his environmental efforts protecting endangered trees and planting thousands of others.

Dolly Parton death
Dolly Parton says she will always love her Uncle Billy following his death

She added: “I bet a lot of our own relatives don’t even know all of the great things that Uncle Bill did behind the scenes through his life. But the greatest thing he ever did for me was to help me see my dreams come true and for that I will be forever grateful.

“I’m sure that Uncle Bill’s friends, fans, his wife Sandy, his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids will join me when I say that we will always love you.”

She ended the note: “I’m sure that Uncle Bill’s friends, fans, his wife Sandy, his kids, grandkids and great-grandkids will join me when I say that we will always love you. Rest in peace, Uncle Bill.”

Dolly Parton says her 'heart is broken' following death of beloved uncle Billy

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