Dolly Parton, the Queen of Country, rarely delves into her over half-a-century marriage with husband Carl Dean. However, in a revealing interview, she opened up about their decision not to have children and the profound impact it had on her life.
Parton explained that the absence of children afforded her the opportunity to pursue her dreams as a country superstar and concentrate on her iconic career. “Since I had no kids, and my husband was pretty independent, I had freedom,” she shared. “So, I think a big part of my whole success is the fact that I was free to work.”
While she acknowledges having had moments of regret about not having kids, Parton and her husband pondered the hypothetical traits of their potential offspring. “You always wonder. My husband and I, when we first got married, we thought about if we had kids, what would they look like?” she mused. “Would they be tall—because he’s tall? Or would they be little squats like me? If we’d had a girl, she was gonna be called Carla.”
Ultimately, Parton concluded that it wasn’t meant to be, and with the wisdom of age, she’s content with that decision. Reflecting on the impact on her career, she acknowledged, “Everything would have changed. I probably wouldn’t have been a star.”
Despite not having biological children, Parton considers herself a mother to many through the Imagination Library, a project she initiated in 1995 providing free books to young children. “And I didn’t have children because I believed that God didn’t mean for me to have kids so everybody’s kids could be mine, so I could do things like Imagination Library because if I hadn’t had the freedom to work, I wouldn’t have done all the things I’ve done,” she explained. “I wouldn’t be in a position to do all of the things I’m doing now.”
In 2017, the iconic singer further solidified her connection with children by releasing her first children’s album, “I Believe in You,” featuring specially crafted songs for young listeners, such as “Brave Little Soldier,” “Makin’ Fun Ain’t Funny,” and “Coat of Many Colors.”