When Dolly Parton wed her husband, Carl Dean, in 1966, her career in country music was just getting started. Fast forward more than 60 years and Parton is one of the leading entertainers in all genres, earning millions of fans across the world for her music – just not necessarily her adoring spouse. While Dean remains a constant and loyal support to his bride, the 73-year-old admits he doesn't really love her style of music.
"He's not necessarily one of my biggest fans of my music," Parton admitted to Good Morning Britain. "He’s proud of me. And he loves that I love what I do. I think it’s just, it’s a touchy subject. I’m like his little girl, I think. He just worries about that. He likes hard rock, he likes Led Zeppelin and bluegrass music, so my music is somewhere in between. He doesn't dislike it, but he doesn't go out of his way to play my records, let's put it that way."
Dean might prefer to listen to other kinds of music besides Parton's, but he remains a staunch supporter of his wife, even if he does most of it behind the scenes.
"For years and years he would never come to the shows because he felt like he'd get nervous if I messed up, so he never wanted to watch it," Parton acknowledged. "The first time he saw me perform and that I was in control of the stage, he was okay."
Still, when Parton is performing across the globe, Dean is almost always patiently waiting for her at home, with one exception.
"Usually if I'm playing at state fairs, he loves to go to the fair and go to the tractor pull and go to the stockyard and do all that," Parton said. "Sometimes he'll ramble around and kind of hear me sing."
Their marriage might be slightly unconventional, especially considering the amount of time the couple spend away from each other, but for Parton and Dean, it works beautifully.
"The fact that we like each other, we respect each other, we’ve always had a good time," Parton explained. "He’s crazy and I’m crazy. We laugh a lot and I think that’s been one of the healthiest, and the most precious parts of our relationship."
Parton previously praised Dean for encouraging her to live her dreams, even if he wasn't tagging along.0comments
“He’s always supporting me as long as I don’t try to drag him in on it,” Parton told PEOPLE. “He’s always been my biggest fan behind the scenes, but he’s at home ... But anyway, he’d never come dragging around. I’d rather bring somebody else with me, you know? He’s never jealous of that either.”
Photo Credit: Getty / Tibrina Hobson