Dolly Parton Addresses Longstanding Tattoo Rumors, Reveals Why She Got 'Artful' Ink

Amid years of speculation about some hidden body art, Dolly Parton has finally spoken out about those long-standing tattoo rumors. In an interview with PEOPLE, the country icon confirmed that hidden beneath those jaw-dropping rhinestone-emblazoned ensembles is a collection of "artful" ink.

Speaking with the outlet in September 2020, the "9 to 5" songstress confirmed, "I do have some tattoos." She went on to call her ink "tasteful," admitting that while she does have a few of them, she is "not a tattoo girl." According to Parton, who said the ink is "pretty, they're artful," the tattoos she has opted to get over the years hold significance, as they "usually started out to cover some scar, not to make a big statement."

"Ribbons and bows and butterflies are the things that I have. I was very sick for a while and I had to wear a feeding tube. It left a little indention in my side and I didn't like it because I'm so fair that scars turn purple on me," she said. "I like to make positives out of negatives. I had a little beehive tattooed over it — a little yellow-and-brown beehive with a tiny little bee on top of the hive. The mouth of it is that little sinkhole."

Parton previously discussed her tattoos during the final episode of the 2019 podcast Dolly Parton's America. At the time, Parton confirmed that she does in fact "have a few tattoos on my body," though she said, "they are not meant to be tattoos for the sake of tattoos." She explained that when she "started gettin' a few little things done, I had a few little tattoos to cover up the scarring. But I'm not tattooed all over like a bike woman or anything." She said that the tattoos that she does have are "very delicate," and revealed, "I have some butterflies, I have some lace and some little bows — a couple things like that."

In her 2020 interview with PEOPLE, Parton addressed more than just those tattoo rumors, also poking fun at rumors that arise here and there regarding her health. At 75 years old, Parton acknowledged that from time to time a story comes up "where I'm bedridden because my boobs are so heavy that I'm crippled for life on my back." Joking that the headlines typically read, "DOLLY BEDRIDDEN," and they "find a picture of me, from when I was actually doing a video, you know, laying on all the bed somewhere," Parton said just laughs, quipping, "well, they are heavy, but they haven't crippled me yet."