Dolly Parton recently opened up about her friendship with legendary artist Andy Warhol, and what they bonded over might surprise fans. In her book Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones, released in October, Parton spills the rhinestone-studded tea on her tight-knit connection with the artist. The duo forged a friendship amidst the dazzling nights of Studio 54, the iconic (and infamous) Manhattan nightclub.
Once the legendary disco hotspot, Studio 54 has transformed into a Broadway theater. The spotlight now illuminates the stage instead of the dance floor. This exclusive haven was once the playground of the stars, where celebrities partied like there was no tomorrow.
Why Dolly Parton Bonded with Andy Warhol at Studio 54
Dolly Parton and Andy Warhol are undoubtedly mingling with their fellow celebrities in that circle. However, something set them apart. “[We] didn’t do too many drugs or drink too much alcohol,” she wrote in the book.
“Andy and I would mostly just sit on the couch and watch all these crazy people out there doing their thing,” Parton recalled. “We really got to know each other, just sitting on that couch.”
Parton described Studio 54 as a vibrant place where everyone had a great time. She and Warhol would often sit back and observe the lively partygoers. Parton mentioned forming connections with renowned individuals after meeting Sandy Gallin, her manager since 1977. Through him, she met influential figures like Calvin Klein and Diane von Furstenberg.
How Studio 54 Influenced Parton’s Fashion… and Music
Parton found style inspiration in the nights at Studio 54, although she admitted feeling that most of the crowd was “too high fashion” for her. “I would sometimes see outfits I liked, and I would incorporate certain pieces into something I’d wear,” she recalled. “Or if I liked the way a certain skirt flips out here, I’d think, ‘Ooh, I need a little skirt that does that.’”
While regularly visiting Studio 54, Parton formed a close bond with Steve Rubell, one of the club’s owners alongside Ian Schrager. In a memorable event, the club celebrated her birthday in 1978.
“Steve filled the place with hay bales. They did a whole country scene with cows and a beautiful white horse too,” Parton details in her book. “Everybody dressed in country-western outfits, but I was wearing sparkly black chiffon that night.”
Parton’s time at Studio 54 also led to the Country Queen recording a disco-influenced tune. In 1979, she released “Baby I’m Burning“.
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