Dolly Parton On Never Having Kids: “I Would Probably Have Given Up Everything Else”

Dolly Parton with blonde hair
Getty Images for Billboard

Dolly Parton once told Miley Cyrus she wasn’t just her godmother, she was her fairy godmother.

And I would say that’s definitely true.

The Queen of country music is always seen in glittering dresses, her signature blonde hair and a smile big enough to light up a room. On the other hand her husband, Carl Dean, is extremely private. Intentionally, he’s stayed out of the spotlight and fan fare.

The two of them never had kids of their own, and while I personally think having Dolly as a mom or grandma would be the coolest thing ever, it just wasn’t in the cards for them.

In a 2014 interview with The Guardian, Dolly revealed why they ultimately chose not to pursue children, and how her life would be different if they did:

“You always wonder… My husband and I, when we first got married, we thought about if we had kids, what would they look like? Would they be tall… because he’s tall? Or would they be little squats like me?”

They even had a name picked out for a little girl.

“If we’d had a girl, she was gonna be called Carla… Anyway, we talked about it, and we dreamed it, but it wasn’t meant to be. Now that we’re older? We’re glad.

I would have been a great mother, I think. I would probably have given up everything else. Because I would’ve felt guilty about that, if I’d have left them to work, to tour.”

Of course, having children would’ve made Dolly’s grueling work schedule all the more complex, and she doesn’t know if she would be the Dolly we all know and love today if she would’ve given parts of that up:

“Everything would have changed. I probably wouldn’t have been a star.”

Though she never had her own children, she started Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library in 1988, which inspires young kids to read and achieve success in school. She has several children’s books and CDs under her belt, too.

Dolly has talked about this previously in other interviews, saying ultimately, she believed God didn’t mean for her to have her own kids. She wanted everybody’s to be hers… so she could be a fairy godmother to all of us. Where do I sign up for that?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; protect Dolly at all costs.

And here’s the most precious thing you’ll see today. It’s Dolly singing her song “Brave Little Soldier” to a class of little ones in 2017.

An absolute treasure.

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock