Dolly Parton on Carl Dean Marriage, Wedding Anniversary: ‘He’s Proud We’ve Made It 50 Years’

dolly parton wedding anniversary carl deanDolly Parton gave fresh, new insight about her marriage to Carl Dean in a new interview; the couple will renew their vows as they celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on May 30. (Credit: Tibrina Hobson / Getty Images)

He’s her everything. Legendary country singer Dolly Parton opened up to ABC News on Thursday, May 26, and shared some rare insight about her 50-year marriage to husband Carl Dean.

Dean, 73, is notoriously private and one of the lesser-known celebrity husbands in showbiz — but Parton said he’s looking forward to their upcoming vow renewals in conjunction with their anniversary.

“It’s hard for me to make him do anything,” Parton, 70, joked of Dean’s preference for privacy. “I have to make him go to the dentist, I have to make him go to the doctor. I have to make him get new clothes. I go get ’em and [he says] ‘I don’t like that … my feet are too long … I don’t like those socks.'”

Dean, who runs his own repairs business, has never-before-given an interview to any outlet. He is expected to make his first joint appearance with Parton in decades — and he’ll look sharper than ever during their upcoming ceremony.

“I said, ‘Well, we’re going shopping for a wedding suit and I don’t want to hear nothin’ about it!’” the “Jolene” hitmaker recalled. “So anyway, we’ve got him all suited up, so he liked the suit.”

The couple secretly married in Ringgold, Georgia, in 1966. At the time, Parton had just signed her first contract with her label and committed to holding off on marriage as part of the business agreement. The only person to witness their wedding was Parton’s mom.

The woman that made my #coatofmanycolors! My momma 🙂 #flashbackfriday

A photo posted by Dolly Parton (@dollyparton) on

“He don’t like to do this kind of thing as a rule, but he’s like me: he’s proud we’ve made it 50 years,” Parton continued on Thursday. “We’ve been together 52 years. We dated two years and then we got married, so anyway, we’re gonna do it. He said he would, so he better — or it won’t last another year!”

About the Author

Esther Lee
Esther Lee
Esther is the Senior News Editor at The Knot. A self-proclaimed pop culture enthusiast, she appreciates a good celebrity interview just as much as she adores Nancy Meyers movies. You can find her kicking off her mornings with barre and a green juice, traveling and exploring new cultures, and rapidly scrolling her feed for the latest and greatest news. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @theestherlee.