Bill Owens, Uncle and Musical Mentor to Dolly Parton, Dies

Country songwriter Bill Owens, who was a mentor and early songwriting partner to his niece Dolly Parton and helped start her career in country music, has died.

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FILE - Country music legend Dolly Parton, left, stands with her uncle Bill Owens during a sneak peek preview at Dollywood in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., on March 22, 2013. Owens, who was a mentor to his niece Dolly Parton and helped start her career in country music, has died. He was 85. Parton's publicist confirmed his death on Wednesday. (Curt Habraken/The Mountain Press via AP, File)
Image via AP Photo/Curt Habraken

This article was republished here with permission from The Associated Press, however it is no longer available to read on Snopes.com.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country songwriter Bill Owens, who was a mentor and early songwriting partner to his niece Dolly Parton and helped start her career in country music, has died. He was 85. Parton’s publicist confirmed his death on Wednesday, and Parton wrote a lengthy eulogy for her uncle, saying “I wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t been there.” Owens helped Parton at the age of 10 get her first radio performance on the…

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