Dolly Parton has a brand new album out tomorrow, Rockstar, and of course, she’s been making the rounds doing all sorts of press in support of her new record.
And today, she stopped by The Howard Stern Show, where they got into a really interesting discussion about when Dolly first moved to Nashville at 18-years old, in addition to discussing her late friend and frequent collaborator, Kenny Rogers.
Stern asked Dolly if people call her all the time and ask her for her doctor’s phone number, because she look so incredible and is always keeping up such a beautiful appearance, and she gave an answer that kind of surprised me.
While she’s never been shy about admitting she’ll get work done when she feels like she needs it, she cautioned people to be very careful about who they let do it, referencing Kenny when explaining how people can heal differently, even if you do go to the best of the best plastic surgeon like he did:
“I always say, just find the best doctors. Some of my celebrity friends, I give them the names of the doctors that I’ve used. But you’ve just gotta be very careful not to overdo it, ‘cuz you never know, anytime you go under knife, you could come out looking not good.
Just like when Kenny Rogers… it’s especially hard for men, because you can’t wear the makeup and all the different eyelashes and stuff, and that was one of the best doctors. You just never know how you’re gonna heal, where it’s gonna go, so you absolutely need to find the best doctors, the most talked about doctors are the ones highly recommended.
If you’re gonna do anything about your face, you can cover up stuff if someone screws up things on your body, but boy, if you live with your face out there, you gotta be careful. So I try to do just little bits at a time, I don’t do really big stuff.
And then I do fillers, botox and Juvederm, or whatever, only when I have to. And even then, I try to be careful.”
Stern followed up by saying how good looking Kenny was before going under the knife for a facelift in 2006, and Dolly came to her friends defense, saying:
“He probably just, you know, like how we all get that saggin’, draggin’, baggin thing, like under your eyes, you think, ‘Well, I gotta get these bags out.’
And somebody convinces you, ‘Oh, I know the best eye doctor,’ but you don’t know how you’re gonna heal and that’s what’s so hard about it. It changes tour expressions, even if the surgery itself is good, it changes your personality, it can.”
She also explained that she tried to help Kenny feel better about it, but didn’t shy away from poking fun at him, either, telling a funny story about one of the last times they were together before he passed away in March of 2020:
“I was very close to Kenny, and of course, I made him feel better about it.
In fact, one of the last times we were together, we were like brother and sister, we just said whatever, and I said, ‘Kenny, I’m glad I got to live long enough to see you grow into your facelift.’
As he got older, his skin started to loosen, and he looked more natural. But it’s always a risk, and every time I go in for anything, I think ‘Oh Lord, please let this all work out fine.'”
Kenny himself had spoken on it publicly many times before, and in an interview with Gayle King for CBS News over a decade ago now, he said that he regretted doing it, but at the same time, he had to “live with it”:
“I don’t know, I had the money to do it and I had time off. But it’s one of those things that I think everybody, you look at yourself and you go, could I be better if I did this or I did that?
And I did it, and the guy who did it was one of the world’s best, but he just had this concept that the edge of your eyes had to be higher than a certain place.
And I regret that, but the truth is, I don’t know what I would’ve looked like if I hadn’t done it. I mean, I could be all down here… so you do it and you live with it.”
And yeah, afterwards he definitely didn’t look like the Kenny Rogers we all knew and loved before the surgery, but especially these days in a world of over-filled Instagram models everywhere, I really don’t think it was all that bad.
What I love most about the conversation, though, is that Dolly is still taking up for her friend all these years later… true friendship is hard to come by, and these two were just precious.
It only feels right to leave you with their incredible perfomance of “Island in the Stream” now: