Dolly Parton on keeping personal life, marriage out of the spotlight: ‘There is a part that belongs to God and me’

For decades, Dolly Parton has been one of America’s biggest and most beloved stars. Between countless hit songs, films and philanthropic efforts, it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t love Dolly.

But while Dolly Parton is happy for the spotlight, even the biggest stars can still use some privacy now and then. In a recent interview, the “9 to 5” singer says that despite her candid personality, she likes to keep some things in her life private, and to keep them between “God and me.”

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The 50-time Grammy Award nominee, currently up for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has endeared herself to fans over her decades in the limelight by being something of an open book.

Her interviews often show off her frank sense of humor, and she’ll discuss all aspects of her life from personal demons to her beauty routine.

Husband Carl doesn’t want the spotlight

But at the same time, she’s managed to keep many things private. Her marriage to longtime husband Carl Dean, for instance, is kept so separate from her professional life that conspiratorial fans think he doesn’t even exist.

The truth is that Dean is simply far more camera-shy than Parton, and has no interest in the spotlight of show-biz.

“A lot of people have thought that through the years, because he does not want to be in the spotlight at all,” Parton told ET in 2020. “It’s just not who he is. He’s like, a quiet, reserved person and he figured if he ever got out there in that, he’d never get a minute’s peace and he’s right about that.”

“I’ve always respected and appreciated that in him and I’ve always tried to keep him out of the limelight as much as I can.”

“There’s a part that belongs to God and to me”

But it’s not just about keeping her husband out of the spotlight: Parton recently revealed that she, too, likes to keep some aspects of her life from fans and the press.

“I learned early on. And I think my mama told me when I was young, ‘Always keep something back for you. You can give what you’ve got to give, but don’t give it all away. Always keep something for you,'” she said in an interview on Apple Music Country’s The Kelleigh Bannen Show, as quoted by Today. /DFree

And another reason she keeps a private life away from the spotlight has to do with her faith.

“There’s a part that belongs to God and to me. It’s a sacred place that just is mine and God’s, and I’ve known how to do that because I think God has directed that,” Parton continued. “I pray that also that God will give me enough to share and enough to spare when it comes to my money but also to myself. Let me share everything I can but let me keep me.” 

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“Let me share everything I can but let me keep me”

Indeed, Dolly Parton has been more than happy to give back after her incredible success in showbiz, and is known as one of the entertainment business’ most high-profile philanthropists.

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 03: 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. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Her best-known charitable effort has been her Imagination Library, which donates books free of charge to children from birth through age 5. The charity has donated over 176 million books to nearly two million children.

“Now that I’m older, I realize I didn’t have kids of my own, so everybody’s kids could be mine,” Parton told People Magazine in 2018. “I [want to] empower children and give them confidence.”

While Parton likes to keep some parts of her personal life private, she also isn’t afraid to make her voice heard and speak out about causes close to her heart.

Recently, the star hosted the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards, and opened by dedicating the show to Ukraine.

“I love to laugh, I love to joke, and we’re going to have a good time tonight, but I do want us before we get started with all our fun to take a serious moment,” Parton said.

“Now I don’t want to be political and this is not. I’d rather pass a kidney stone than do that, but I want us to send our love and hope to our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. So why don’t we just dedicate this entire show to them and pray for peace around this crazy old world?” 

Even the biggest and most outgoing stars are entitled to some privacy, and Dolly Parton has certainly earned the right to live life the way she wants.

We’re glad to hear that while she’s no stranger to the spotlight, she’s still been able to keep some secrets to herself.

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