‘I stay going’: Dolly Parton reveals the secret to her successful 56-year long marriage

Dec 23, 2022
Dolly Parton says good humour is the key to her successful decades long marriage. Source: Instagram @dollyparton

Country music queen Dolly Parton has opened up about her marriage, giving fans some words of advice on how they too can have a successful 56-year-long relationship.

The 76-year-old, who is known for keeping her husband and the details of their private out of the spotlight, recently got candid about her marriage to businessman Carl Dean.

“I like it when people say, ‘How did it last so long?’ I say, ‘I stay going,'” Parton said during an interview with ET Canada.

“You know, there’s a lot to be said about that.

“So, we’re not in each other’s face all the time. He’s not in the business, so we have different interests, but yet we have the things we love to do together. So it was meant to be, I think. He was the one I was supposed to have and vice versa.”


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The couple first met back in 1964 in a laundromat in Nashville when Parton had first moved into town, she was 18 and he was 21. It was love at first sight for the pair who dated for two years before tying the knot.

Like any relationship, it hasn’t always been smooth sailing for the pair, however, the Rock and Roll of Fame inductee says laughter and good humour have kept their marriage going strong.

“We both have a warped sense of humour. And I think humour, honestly, is one of the best things when you’re married like that. Even if you have a problem, if you have a great sense of humour, if you say something you can’t take back [you] usually have some crazy way of getting out of it,” Parton told the publication.


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A post shared by Dolly Parton (@dollyparton)

Throughout the entirety of her career, Parton’s husband has been her number-one fan. But as they’ve gotten older the Jolene singer has decided it’s time to take a step back from the hustle and bustle of her live tours.

Speaking to Pollstar Magazine in late October, the country music trailblazer revealed she has “no intention” of going on tour anymore, saying she would like to spend more time with her husband rather than spend so many days on the road.

“We’re getting older now, and I don’t want to be gone for four or five weeks at a time,” Parton said.

“Something could happen. I would not feel right about that, if I were gone and somebody needed me. Or I would feel bad if I had to leave a tour if somebody got sick at home and needed me and then I had to walk out on the fans.”

But before Dolly’s fans get too devastated, Parton has reassured lovers of her tunes that she still plans on performing live, saying she would be open to doing “a long weekend of shows, or just a few shows at a festival”.

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