Stella Parton: Dolly never wanted children
Dolly Parton "never wanted children", according to her sister Stella Parton.
The '9 to 5' hitmaker's youngest sibling - a country artist in her own right - is about to perform shows in the UK and will be playing the album she made as a tribute to Dolly called 'Mountain Songbird'.
The LP includes some of Dolly's greatest hits and Stella is nervous about playing them live as she thinks Dolly sees her songs as her kids because she didn't want to have them herself.
Stella, 66, revealed: "Dolly never wanted children and so her songs are her children, which is why I take so much care performing them - I treat them like they are my nieces and nephews. I hope that I've embraced them with as much love and respect as I have for my sister. We have such a close bond."
Meanwhile, Stella - who shares 10 other siblings with Dolly - said she doesn't think she could cope with the intense spotlight the country music legend has dealt with ever since she was a kid.
She told the Daily Mail newspaper: "I would never have been comfortable with the kind of public image my sister has enjoyed. But she was my sister before the world knew her and she will be my sister to the very end of our lives."
Dolly and Stella grew up together in Sevier County, Tennessee their family farm run by their father Robert Lee Parton and his wife Avie Lee.
And growing up Stella always thought Dolly felt she was "more fortunate" than her, but that she felt "guilty" about it.
She said: "I'm sure at the time she felt more fortunate than me, maybe because she was excluded from the day-to-day drudgery at home. But I think it brought her a certain amount of guilt - that was painful for her."