It comes as a surprise to some that country music icon Dolly Parton never decided to have kids of her own. But she says that in the end, it “wasn’t meant to be” that way.
The Queen of Country music sat down with CBS Sunday Morning back in 2019 for an interview. During it, she speaks up about her 54-year-long relationship with her husband Carl Dean. And she also talks about their decision as a couple to not have kids.
“It wasn’t meant to be,” Parton explained. “And I don’t regret it — I never regretted it. It was a choice. You make your choices, you make your sacrifices and I never looked back.”
Parton and Dean are still happily married. But as she jumped around from country to pop, to Hollywood, the couple never did get around to having children. When asked if that was a regret of hers, Parton said, “No, absolutely not.”
“I knew early on that I was going to walk that road until God told me to stop,” Parton said. “And I’m still walkin’ it and he ain’t said nothin’ to me about quittin’ yet.”
You can watch the entire nine-minute interview with Dolly Parton below:
Why Didn’t Dolly Parton Have Any Kids of Her Own?
Despite not having any regrets about her marriage or about her decision to not have any children, Dolly Parton says that the couple did want children, at first.
“Early on, when my husband and I were dating, and then when we got married, we just assumed we would have kids,” Parton told Billboard in 2014. “We weren’t doing anything to stop it. In fact, we thought maybe we would. We even had names if we did, but it didn’t turn out that way.”
However, the “Jolene” singer and her husband often wonder about what their kids would have been like.
“My husband and I, when we first got married, we thought about if we had kids. What would they look like?” Parton told The Guardian in a previous sit-down. “Would they be tall, because he’s tall? Or would they be little squats like me? If we had a girl, she was gonna be called Carla.”
And although they thought and dreamed a lot about having their own children, Parton says she is glad things turned out the way they did.
“I would have been a great mother, I think,” the country legend admitted. “I would probably have given up everything else. Because I would have felt guilty about that, if I’d have left them [to work, to tour]. Everything would have changed. I probably wouldn’t have been a star.”