Dolly Parton on What People Would Be Surprised to Learn About Her

Since Dolly Parton has been in the spotlight, she’s mostly been an open book. Even when she was instructed to stay away from certain topics early on in her career, she couldn’t help herself. She’d tell the interviewer what they wanted to know. So when the “Jolene” singer was asked in 2014 what people may be surprised to learn about her, she had to think for a moment.

Dolly Parton on the red carpet for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. She wears a red dress and red heels.
Dolly Parton | David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Dolly Parton would speak about her husband in interviews even though her management told her not to

Parton has always been such an open book that she’d even talk about things in interviews that her record label would tell her not to. In 1967, Parton was 21 years old. She’d been married for a year to her infamously private husband, Carl Dean.

In an interview that took place that year, Music City News asked the “9 to 5” singer if she’d care to speak about her home life.

“No, I don’t care to,” she said. “They don’t usually like for me to mention it. Fred and them don’t really like for me to mention it or to emphasize it real big, but I got married a year ago, the thirtieth of last month, on Memorial Day last year. My husband’s name is Carl Dean. He and his father are in the asphalt paving business here in town. You might classify that as a contractor or whatever.”

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The “When Life is Good Again” singer went on to say that she and Dean didn’t currently have any children, but they had plans to.

“We’ll probably start our family or start tryin’ to have a family next summer because I need to do all this booking and everything now,” she said. “I’m just getting started. But I’d like to have at least four children. I’d like to have six if we can afford it and if things go well . . . if everybody’s healthy and I got the energy to take care of ’em! [Laughs] I’ll know after the first one!”

Parton and Dean never did have any children, another subject the Queen of Country has been open about.

What people would be surprised to learn about Dolly Parton

Despite being such an open book, there is one thing Parton thinks her fans may be surprised to learn. When she was asked the question by Pride Source in 2014, she said:

“I can’t imagine a thing that people don’t already know about me. I think people would be surprised at how really at-home I am. I look like a party doll but I’m very home-lovin’. I’m a homebody, and I’m family-oriented. I don’t get out much unless it’s a special occasion. So I guess people might be surprised at just how calm I really am.”

‘We live a pretty peaceful life’

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Dolly Parton knows how to have a good time. But when she’s not working or on the road, the Queen of Country likes to appreciate the quiet moments with her husband.

“We have a lot of things in common,” she wrote in her 2020 book, Songteller. “We both like to travel around. We have our little camper, and we like to get out and just sightsee. We’ll stop at a grocery store, get a few little things, and go picnicking. We’ll go to drive-through restaurants. We just like to do simple things. We don’t complicate our lives, and we don’t overthink things. We live a pretty peaceful life, actually.”