Dolly Parton, easily one of the most prolific songwriters of all time, has written her fair share of songs about both heartbreak and love — and it seems like her 56-year long marriage to Carl Dean has played into the latter.
The singer opened up about how she and her husband, who tends to stay out of the spotlight, have had such a successful marriage spanning nearly six decades.
Parton credits her and Dean’s shared “warped sense of humor” as one of the pillars of her long-lasting relationship’s success. “And I think humor, honestly, is one of the best things when you’re married like that,” she explained to ET Canada.
“Even if you have a problem, if you have a great sense of humor, if you say something you can’t take back (you) usually have some crazy way of getting out of it.”
Parton and Dean have been married since 1966. The two met the day Parton moved to Nashville in 1964 to pursue her musical career at a Wishy Washy laundromat and had their first date at a McDonald’s.
And if that doesn’t sound like a country song, what does?
The “Jolene” singer is no stranger to commitment, be it with Dean or her other passions, like philanthropy. She’s been running the Dollywood Foundation since 1986, which has funded projects like Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library and allowed her to pay the college tuition of Dollywood employees.
Her other key to a happy marriage? A little bit of space.
“I like it when people say, ‘How did it last so long?’ I say, ‘I stay going,’” Parton told ET’s Morgan Hoffman. “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 and vice versa.”
Parton previously opened up about how Dean is a “quiet, reserved person,” and how he chose her — not the world of music as his love. “He said, ‘I didn’t choose this world, I chose you, and you chose that world,” Parton explained back in 2020. “But we can keep our lives separate and together.’ And we do and we have.”
The fact that Dean is not in the music industry doesn’t mean he isn’t interested in her work, though. In fact, for her next album, Parton said that she is surprising Dean with some of the songs, including some duets with rock and roll icons.
“He loves all of the songs. And I haven’t told him yet who I’m going to have on. I don’t even know myself, who all is going to be on it. But he’ll love it. I’m doing so many of his favorite songs on the album, so I’ll play it to him when it’s all done,” she teased. Seems like there is still a lot of spark between the two!
Seriously, is there anything Dolly can’t do?