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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 By KRISTIN M. HALL AP Entertainment Writer

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

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