Dolly Parton is getting personal.
On Tuesday, the legendary country crooner shared a very rare photograph of herself with her husband of 55 years, Carl Thomas Dean.
While the pair have been married since 1966, fans rarely sees the singer’s beau in public as they keep their relationship extremely private.
“Find you a partner who will support you like my Carl Dean does!” the 75-year-old boasted to her 4.5 million followers.”
While the throwback snap of the couple holding hands is the real deal, Dean’s shirt was edited to promote the Dolly “Vintage Collage Tee,” which is available for $35 on Parton’s site.
Parton first met the Nashville businessman when she was 18 and he was 21. In September 2020, Parton told People magazine the two still carve out time for date nights.
“We still have our little times, like in the springtime when the first daffodils come out,” said Parton. “Even there’s still some snow around it, my husband always brings me a bouquet. And he’ll usually write me a little poem. Which to me, that’s priceless. That’s like a date in itself.”
According to the outlet, one of their first dates was at McDonald’s. But these days, Parton does the cooking for two.
“I’ll cook the stuff that I know we love,” she explained. “And I pack it up in a picnic basket. And then we’ll go find some riverbank somewhere with our little camper, park, have a picnic. Or we’ll pull up to some little Davis Inn motel, go in as long as the bed’s clean and there’s a bathroom. We just do our little things like that.”
“Or I’ll do a candlelight dinner,” she continued. “We don’t make an issue of it. It’s like certain days, you feel a certain way. And I’ll say, ‘I’m going to surprise him. And we’re going to have real cloth napkins and real crystal. I’m going to put the real china out instead of the paper plates we usually eat on because we don’t want to have to wash dishes.’”
Parton also revealed that the secret behind her decades-long marriage is surprisingly simple – being comfortable in her own skin.
“And that’s sexy,” she said. “You may not want to dress or look like me, you can take from that to be yourself. I’m a very passionate person in everything that I do, and I think passion has great sex appeal. I think people are drawn to that because it’s magic. It’s an energy. And I’ve always been a great lover because I’m passionate. I just feel my sensuality, my sexuality, my passion, and I don’t have to apologize for any of that. I’ve never been offensive in any way, never tried to be. Or I’ve never tried to be anything other than just what I am.”
A month later, Parton addressed rumors that Dean didn’t exist.
“A lot of people have thought that through the years because he does not want to be in the spotlight at all,” Parton told ET. “It’s just not who he is. He’s like, a quiet, reserved person and he figured if he ever got out there in that, he’d never get a minute’s peace and he’s right about that.”
“I’ve always respected and appreciated that in him and I’ve always tried to keep him out of the limelight as much as I can,” she continued. “He said, ‘I didn’t choose this world, I chose you, and you chose that world. But we can keep our lives separate and together.’ And we do and we have.”