Dolly Parton Reveals Reason for Turning Down Super Bowl XLIX Appearance: ‘I Couldn’t Leave Him’

by Will Shepard
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

Dolly Parton turned down an offer from Katy Perry to join her in performing during halftime at the Super Bowl. This was all the way back in 2015, and Parton is finally sharing the reason why she didn’t perform.

Recently, it came to light that Parton declined the opportunity because her husband was not doing well.

During a GQ Magazine interview, Parton explains why she politely declined the appearance with Perry. Later on, the Super Bowl would birth the famous “left shark” meme.

Parton explains that she stayed home to help out her husband. Unfortunately for fans of her marriage, her husband, Carl Dean, is intensely private so, not much is known about his health. Still, five years after she declined the performance, the only verified info is that he wasn’t feeling well.

Parton begins talking about the Super Bowl a little before the 5-minute mark in the video.

“That is true. And I would have done it because I love Katy Perry.”

During the “Actually Me With Dolly Parton” video, she displays what everyone has known for years about her marriage. She is intensely loyal to her husband, so much so that she gave up the Super Bowl appearance.

“At the time my husband was not doing good. He was kind of puny and I couldn’t leave him, so I couldn’t do it.”

Dolly Parton and Country Music at the Super Bowl

Country music has been absent from the Super Bowl for a long time. In fact, the last time there was a country performance at the halftime show was 17 years ago. Shania Twain performed at Super Bowl XXXVII.

Before that though Travis Tritt performed with Judds and Tanya Tucker back in 1994.

Perhaps in a future Super Bowl halftime, Parton can work her magic on stage and mesmerize the audience. The lack of country music at the game’s halftime seems like it needs to be fixed sooner than later.