There is Only One Reason Dolly Parton Would Ever Retire

Dolly Parton performs on stage at ACL Live during Blockchain Creative Labs’ Dollyverse event at SXSW during the 2022 SXSW Conference and Festivals on March 18, 2022 in Austin, Texas
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for SXSW

Dolly Parton may be 78 years old but retirement is the furthest thing from her mind. She has been a country music star for decades as well as a philanthropist, theme park legend, and actor. Parton once said that she believes she never had children because she wouldn’t have been able to accomplish everything she has if she had a family. However, she has been married to her husband Carl Dean for almost 60 years and he is the only reason she would ever stop working.

She revealed, “I would only retire if I was ill or if my husband was ill and needed me. That’d be the only thing that would make me pull back.” While she has been married to Dean for decades, he has famously stayed out of the spotlight and only supported Parton from afar.

20th May 1977: Country music queen Dolly Parton is back in London after performing at the King's Theatre, Glasgow, at a Scottish Royal Jubilee Television Special in the presence of the Queen, she now commences on a tour of Britain and the continent

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Parton believes that her true gift is songwriting but she also loves to perform, sing, act, and help out people in need. She said of her career, “I was silly enough to believe it could be done, and I didn’t know it couldn’t be done, until I did it, as they say. I’d worked in the fields, being a country girl, and I’ve done all that menial labor because that was just the chores and stuff we had to do back home. But I hated every minute of it. I didn’t like school, either.”

Singer-songwriter Dolly Parton attends the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 3, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada

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Right after she graduated from high school, she moved to Nashville to pursue a music career. Her fallback plan was to become a beautician if her music career didn’t pan out, but luckily for Parton and her fans, it certainly did. Parton does still love makeup and hair as is evident with her signature style. Although she knows some people believe she looks overdone, she said it fits her personality and makes her happy.

Parton proved that she wasn’t all talk about not retiring as she just released a rock music album and performed during an NFL game.

Queens of Country
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Queens of Country

November 2019

Get your toes-tapping as we give a nod to the queens of classic country music.

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