Dolly Parton, the beloved country music legend, has captivated audiences for decades with her melodious voice and magnetic personality.
At 76 years old, after a lifetime of performing and entertaining, Dolly has made the bittersweet decision to step back from touring. But fear not, she will continue to bless us with new music!
In a recent interview, Dolly Parton shared her plans, saying, “I’ll do special shows here and there, now and then. Maybe a long weekend of shows or a few performances at festivals.
But I won’t be going on a full-blown tour anymore.” While we will undoubtedly miss seeing her on stage, it’s heartwarming to know that she will be dedicating more time to recording music and enjoying the company of her devoted husband, Carl Thomas Dean.
Dolly and Carl’s love story began in 1964 in Nashville, Tennessee. At just 18 years old, Dolly caught Carl’s eye outside the Wishy Washy Laundromat. It was love at first sight for him, and he knew he had to make her his.
Reflecting on that fateful day, Carl fondly recalls, “My first thought was, ‘I’m gonna marry that girl.’ My second thought was, ‘Lord, she’s good lookin’.’ And that was the day my life began. I wouldn’t trade the last 50 years for anything on this earth.”
Initially, Dolly turned down Carl’s invitation for a date. However, fate intervened a few days later when she invited him over while she was taking care of her nephew. This marked the beginning of a love story that would defy the odds and stand the test of time.
In May of 1966, Dolly and Carl decided to tie the knot. They opted for a private ceremony in Ringgold, Georgia, with only Dolly, Carl, and her mother in attendance. Despite pressure from her record label to postpone the wedding due to her budding career, Dolly and Carl were eager to start their life together. They chose Georgia over Tennessee to keep the event intimate and low-key.
Since that momentous day, Dolly and Carl’s love has only grown stronger. In 2016, they joyously celebrated their 50th anniversary by renewing their vows, a testament to their enduring commitment and unwavering love for each other.
With Dolly’s decision to step back from touring, she and Carl will now have even more precious time together. In an honest interview with Pollstar, Dolly explained her reasoning, saying, “I’ve been on the road my whole life, and it demands so much time and energy. I’d rather stay closer to home with my husband. We’re at a stage in life where being away for weeks at a time doesn’t sit right with me.” Her words resonate with many of us who understand the importance of prioritizing our loved ones as we grow older.
Dolly also shared that her latest musical projects are dedicated to the rock ‘n’ roll genre, a favorite of her husband’s. This past May, she received a nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and saw it as the perfect opportunity to fulfill her husband’s musical preferences. As she expressed, “My husband’s a big hard rock ‘n’ roll fan, and for years I’ve thought, ‘One of these days I’d like to put together an album mainly for him, just as a little something special.’”
Aside from her music, Dolly has been keeping busy with her new NBC special, “Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas,” which premiered on December 1st. Additionally, she is collaborating with actor-turned-producer Reese Witherspoon on the film adaptation of “Run, Rose, Run,” a book co-written by Witherspoon and James Patterson.
Throughout her career, Dolly Parton has embodied resilience and strength. But like all of us, she has faced her own health challenges. In the 1980s, she battled health issues but chose to soldier on for the sake of her career. At the age of 35, she fell seriously ill and even collapsed on stage during a performance in Indianapolis. It was then when she was diagnosed with endometriosis, a condition that causes pain, fatigue, heavy periods, and the growth of the womb’s lining on other organs.
Despite her health struggles, Dolly pushed through, describing her suffering as “feminine difficulties.” Her doctor in Indianapolis advised her to take a break before the show, but she decided to perform anyway. After collapsing on stage, she was flown to New York to see a specialist. Due to her health concerns, she had to postpone the last 30 dates of her extensive tour.
Reflecting on that challenging period, Dolly has come to realize the importance of taking care of herself. “I wasn’t watching what I ate, I wasn’t mindful of nutrition, I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was working hard, and underneath, I was a mess of personal and emotional issues,” she admitted. It serves as a reminder that we must prioritize our well-being, especially as we age.
Dolly Parton, your resilience and dedication have inspired us all. As you embrace this new chapter in your life, we wish you nothing but happiness and fulfillment. Your legacy as a music icon and beacon of love will forever remain in our hearts. Thank you for the gift of your music and your unwavering spirit.
We love you, Dolly!