Dolly Parton Signs North America Deal With WME

Dolly Parton
Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, file
– Dolly Parton
23rd annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium & Expo Hall in Los Angeles.

Country superstar Dolly Parton has signed a deal to be represented by WME in North America, with an agency rep confirming to Pollstar she is still represented internationally by UTA’s Neil Warnock. 

 “We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with Dolly Parton,” said Greg Oswald, co-head of WME’s Nashville office, in a statement. “She is the definition of an icon.  When we approached her team about the opportunity to represent Dolly, it became clear that this was an ideal marriage given her business aspirations and our capabilities across the WME network.  We look forward to helping her build upon her success across multiple platforms.”

Parton ended her relationship with APA’s Steve Martin in 2016 but remains with Warnock for international representation, a WME representative confirmed to Pollstar.  

Both agents were previously with The Agency Group, which Warnock founded. Martin was named Partner at APA in 2015, repping Parton, David Gilmour and Scorpions among others, while The Agency Group was acquired by UTA in 2015.

Warnock was named head of worldwide music for UTA after the acquisition, and David Zedeck was brought over from Live Nation and named to a similar position in 2017, with UTA saying Warnock would remain in an important leadership role within the music division.

“We believe that WME is uniquely positioned to help elevate Dolly and her brand at this wonderful stage in her career,”  longtime Parton manager Danny Nozell said in a statement. “WME has a vast global network in the entertainment market, especially in the areas that we have strategically identified as priority such as licensing and unique commercial and touring opportunities.”

Parton is still a major touring force, and in 2016 was No. 34 on Pollstar’s year-end Top 200 North American tours chart, grossing $31 million on 62 shows.

Along with touring she also has her boots in many other projects, including her Dollywood theme park and Dollywood’s Splash Country, Tennessee’s largest water park. Her entertainment businesses attract 4.5 million visitors annually and employ more than 3,000. She also has notable charity efforts including the Dollywood Foundation, which includes the Dolly Part Imagination Library which just announced it had donated its 100 millionth book to preschool children.