Who is Dolly Parton's husband? Inside the singer's 56-year marriage to Carl Dean

Dolly Parton met husband Carl Dean when she was 18, before marrying him at 20

Dolly Parton is one of country music's most recognizable stars, but her husband of 56 years is far less well-known.

REVEALED: Dolly Parton's $1million change to her appearance 

While Dolly loves the limelight, even co-hosting Miley's New Year's Eve Party this year alongside her god-daughter Miley Cyrus, her husband, Carl Dean prefers to live a quiet life.

WATCH: Dolly Parton dresses up as a Playboy bunny for husband Carl Dean

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The couple have been married since 1966, before Dolly's singing career took off, but what do we know about the man who inspired beloved country songs such as Jolene and Forever Love? Keep reading to find out…

MORE: Dolly Parton's Nashville home with husband Carl is not what you'd expect

READ: Dolly Parton makes shocking confession about herself - and fans don't believe it

How old are Dolly Parton and Carl Dean?

Dolly Parton is 76 and was born in Tennessee on 19 January 1946. Her husband, Carl Dean, is three years older than her and celebrated his 80th birthday in July 2022.

Dolly and husband Carl like to keep their marriage out of the spotlight

How did Dolly Parton and Carl Dean meet?

Dolly and Carl met outside their local laundromat in Nashville on the first day the singer moved to the famous music city in 1964. Dolly was 18 while Carl was 21 at the time. Two years later in 1966, shortly before Dolly released her first album, they were married in Ringgold, Georgia, with only her mother there as a witness.

Dolly and Carl on their wedding day

In the years that followed, Dolly became country music's most iconic star, while Carl stayed out of the spotlight, focusing on running his asphalt business. And don't expect to see him in the front row at his wife's shows – over the years he'd only seen Dolly perform a few times.

"No, he doesn't like to do that," Dolly told Ellen DeGeneres during an interview. "He gets nervous seeing me perform. It's almost like seeing your kid in a recital. He's afraid I'll mess up. Actually, he has seen me a time or two and it did relax him a little. He saw that I do mess up and it's OK because people are not gonna punish me for it."


Carl has been by Dolly's side for all of her country career

How long have Dolly Parton and Carl Dean been together?

Dolly and Carl wed on 30 May 1966, meaning they celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary in 2022.

Dolly and Carl are rarely papped together these days

In 2016, the pair marked their 50th wedding anniversary in a very special way - they decided to get married for a second time. "We're going to get married again!" Dolly gushed to People ahead of their vow renewal. "I'll have a beautiful wedding dress, 'cause I didn't have a big long wedding dress when we got married, and we've got a suit for him, so we're going to dress up and take a bunch of pictures."

Do Dolly Parton and Carl Dean have children?

While Dolly herself was one of 12 children, she and husband Carl never had children themselves - however, Dolly is godmother to popstar Miley Cyrus.

MORE: Dolly Parton shares incredibly rare loved-up photo with husband Carl Dean

While Dolly doesn't have any children of her own, she is godmother to Miley Cyrus

In 2014, Billboard asked the country star if she regretted never starting a family to which Dolly said she did at first, but doesn't anymore. "Early on, when my husband and I were dating, and then when we got married, we just assumed we would have kids. We weren't doing anything to stop it. In fact, we thought maybe we would. We even had names if we did, but it didn't turn out that way.

"Now that Carl and I are older, we often say, "Aren't you glad we didn't have kids? Now we don't have kids to worry about."

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