Dolly Parton released her first single in 1959

Dolly Parton details what she loves about country music

Dolly Parton has been a fixture in the country music world for decades, and even though she’s getting older, she doesn’t plan to stop anytime soon.

The “Jolene” singer-songwriter recently confirmed that she wants to keep working indefinitely, telling USA Today, “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.”

Parton married her husband, retired businessman Carl Thomas Dean, in 1966. Even as they approach their 60th wedding anniversary, she seems to be as devoted as ever.


A photo of Dolly Parton

“Work is everything to me,” she told the outlet. “That’s all I know. It’s what I do. It’s how all these things have come to pass.” She believes that songwriting is her “gift” but said, “I love to sing, too, and I love to perform. So, it’s just all one thing to me.”

“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,” Parton explained of her impressive career. “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.”

A photo of Dolly Parton, then and now


She famously moved to Nashville to pursue a music career the day after she graduated from high school, saying now, “I thought, ‘Well, what’s the worst that can happen? I can always go back home, study to be a beautician and still get cheap makeup and bleach and all the stuff that I was going to always do, no matter what.’”

Parton has always been open about her appreciation for “cheap makeup and bleach,” and even though, these days, she has more than enough money for high-end makeup and has said she has several wigs, she still maintains the same aesthetic.

Dolly Parton sits on a couch with her guitar in her lap

“There’s a lot of maintenance,” she said about her appearance. “My joke of ‘It costs a lot of money to look this cheap,’ that’s so true because I like to look a certain way. I can’t just put on a little bit of makeup and think I look good because I don’t look good with a little bit of makeup. I like to wear a lot of makeup. It fits my personality. Even if somebody says, ‘Oh God, she was so over-made.’ Well, if it fits me, then I’m going to make everybody around me happy because I’m going to feel good myself.”

One thing that did make her nervous was dressing up as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader at the NFL team’s Thanksgiving game last year.

Dolly Parton performs on Thanksgiving

“But I thought, ‘Well, at my age, if I can pull it off, it’s going to be good. And if I don’t, I can just pass it off as an old woman doing a stupid-a– thing,’” Parton said. “I’ve always said my desire to do something is greater than my fear of it.”



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