Is Dolly Parton Married?

Dolly Parton is one of the most recognizable names in country music. She is known for her angelic voice and striking good looks.

For over half a century, Parton has written and performed many No. 1 songs won several awards and was inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Because many of her songs are about love and relationships, Parton seems to be an authority on romance.

However, many fans don’t know much about Parton’s own romantic relationship. So, has Dolly Parton ever found true love? Is Dolly Parton married? Here is what we know about Parton’s married life.

Is Dolly Parton married?

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Over the years, Parton has had several marriage proposals from several fans and admirers. However, she was never able to accept any of these proposals because she is already married. In fact, she got married before she even became famous and is still married to the same man today.

Paron’s husband’s name is Carl Dean and the two met at a laundromat in Nashville, Tennessee back in 1964. According to The Oprah Magazine, Dean knew that he wanted to date Parton from the first moment he laid eyes on her.

After some heavy flirting at the laundromat, Dean took the country music legend to a McDonald’s drive-thru for their first date. Apparently, a trip to McDonald’s was enough to win over Parton. The two continued to date for the next two years before tying the knot in 1966.

Throughout the years, Dean has been the inspiration of many of Parton’s songs. The song entitled, Jolene, was inspired by a red-headed bank teller that Parton says her husband used to flirt with soon after they first got married.

“I put a stop to that right off the bat,” Parton had said to her audience at one of her concerts. “And you know what? Even the things that you think are bad, turn out to be good. Because if it hadn’t been for Jolene, I wouldn’t have made all that money.”

The rules of their relationship are pretty relaxed

Even though Parton got jealous when she thought Dean was flirting with another woman, in their relationship, cheating is not necessarily off-limits.

In the past, Parton has said that she and Dean have somewhat of an open relationship. Parton has said that as long as they don’t catch each other cheating, then they don’t consider it cheating.

“If we cheat we don’t know it, so if we do cheat, it’s very good for both of us,” Parton had said. “I don’t want to know it, if he’s cheating on me. If I’m cheating on him, he wouldn’t want to know it. And if we do, if that’s what’s making it work, then that’s fine too.”

So, they are sort of allowed to see other people as long as they don’t tell each other about the infidelity. This rule seems a little odd to some fans. However, Parton and Dean have been able to make their relationship work for over five decades, so apparently, this rule is working well for them.

Why do fans not see Dolly Parton’s husband very much?

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“Act natural”

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When Parton and Dean first got together, she wasn’t the iconic country singer that she is today. As she became more recognizable, she was required to make quite a few public appearances.

At first, her husband made an effort to stand by her side while she walked down the red carpet. But he quickly learned that he despised being in the limelight.

Parton had told The Boot that after her first album made it to the top of the charts, her husband had told her that he wanted nothing to do with the entertainment industry.

“This was my first big record,” Parton had said. “It went number one for Bill and it was BMI’s Song of the Year. So Carl and I got dressed up, he went in a tux and we drove to dinner. We got out, walked up the red carpet, and went inside and sat through dinner and the awards. After the dinner, Carl turned to me and said, ‘Dolly, I want you to have everything you want, and I’m happy for you, but don’t you ever ask me to go to another one of them dang things again!'”

So, for the next 50 years, Parton separated her work-life and her home-life and did the best she could to keep her husband out of the spotlight.