Country Queen Dolly Parton full of the wisdom that comes with life experience

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton and husband Carl married 54 years ago

Dolly Parton and husband Carl married 54 years ago

Daniel O'Donnell

QUEEN of Country Dolly Parton is full of the wisdom that comes with the experience of life.

Dolly's life is truly amazing, growing up one of 12 in poor circumstances in Tennessee's Smoky Mountains and going on to become a superstar in the world of entertainment.

What's even more amazing is that, despite achieving enormous fame and wealth, she never lost touch with her roots.

Although she never had children of her own, Dolly has been a mother figure to many young female country singers.

Recently, Dolly sat down for an interview with rising star of country Gabby Barrett, the singer who launched her career on American Idol.

Gabby, who has just done a cover version of Dolly's classic song, I Will Always Love You, has been married for a year and is expecting her first child.

She asked 74-year-old Dolly how she has managed to keep her 54-year marriage to husband Carl Dean strong.

"My husband and I always had a great friendship," Dolly told her. "We're both funny, and we both have a great and warped sense of humour, so we've always had a good time.

Dolly Parton and husband Carl married 54 years ago

Dolly Parton and husband Carl married 54 years ago

"He's pretty much a loner and a homebody, and I'm a gypsy. But when I'm home, I love that. We don't do the same thing, so it gives us different stuff to talk about. He doesn't get involved in my business, and I don't in his, so we have our own little world that we create for ourselves."

Dolly is very funny. "I've always made jokes that the reason our marriage has lasted so long is because I stay gone," she said. "Well, there's a lot of truth in that.

"I think there's a lot to be said about having some sensible separation because you can't be with somebody 24/7, 365 and not want to smack their face now and then."

Dolly revealed that throughout their marriage, herself and Dean "have never fought".

She said: "We've never bickered back and forth because I never wanted us to say bad things that we would have to remember. We get a little pissy now and then, but we'll just kind of walk off or go do something else and let that die down."

Dolly also told Gabby the first year of marriage "is probably the hardest".

She said: "You are trying to figure each other out and learn. That's the year that you get the most rubbed wrong only because you're having to share space with somebody you've never had to share your space with before.

"It's best just to go to the other room rather than getting in a big old argument about it, cool off and know they're just as entitled to their opinion and their space as you are yours.

"So if you can think of it like that, and just know that when you both feel like you can calm down and talk about it, that's where the love is supposed to come in and the understanding."

She adds with a laugh: "Then if you get that worked out, smack him across the head."

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