Dolly Parton Says Husband Carl Dean Is ‘Not Necessarily One of the Biggest Fans of My Music’

Dolly Parton is wildly popular. Her fan base is so varied that it’s not unusual to witness people who would otherwise never be in a room together, gathered at a Parton concert, singing harmoniously to such classics as “Jolene” and “9 to 5.” Though Parton’s fans are extensive and passionate, her husband, Carl Dean, isn’t “necessarily” one of them. Parton’s songs just aren’t really his taste.

Dolly Parton at the premiere of 'Dumplin'' on the red carpet. She's in a black and white top and looking to the left of the camera, smiling.
Dolly Parton | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Dolly Parton and Carl Dean

Parton met Dean shortly after arriving in Nashville, Tennessee. She was 18 and he was 21. He didn’t waste any time asking her out on a date and she said yes. Two years later, they were married.

When Parton’s career started to take off, Dean told her he wanted her to have everything she wanted. But he didn’t want to be in the spotlight with her. All these years, Dean has rarely been seen in public. His famously low profile even inspired the rumor that he wasn’t real.

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“A lot of people have thought that through the years, because he does not want to be in the spotlight at all,” Parton told Entertainment Tonight of the rumor. “It’s just not who he is. He’s like, a quiet, reserved person and he figured if he ever got out there in that, he’d never get a minute’s peace and he’s right about that.”

Carl Dean is not a member of the Dolly Parton fan club

As it turns out, Parton’s music isn’t Dean’s taste. She told Good Morning Britain host Kate Garraway that her husband is “not necessarily one of the biggest fans of my music.”

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“He likes hard rock, he likes Led Zeppelin and bluegrass music, so my music is somewhere in between…he doesn’t dislike it, but he doesn’t go out of his way to play my records, let’s put it that way,” she said.

‘He loves that I love what I do’

Though Dean may not love Dolly Parton music, he still supports his wife in making her dreams come true.

“He’s proud of me,” she said. “And he loves that I love what I do.”

He’s been there for her through the ups and downs of her life and career for 54 years, and it brings Parton comfort knowing he’ll be there for the rest of it.

The couple renewed their wedding vows for their 50th wedding anniversary in 2016.

“If I had it to do all over, I’d do it all over again, and we did,” said Parton in a statement, as reported by Entertainment Tonight. “I’m dragging him kicking and screaming into the next 50 years. Wish us luck.”