Fans of country music legend Dolly Parton have been amazed to learn that she has been married to the same man for 54 years.
The 74-year-old singer first married Nashville businessman Carl Thomas Dean in 1966, having met him two years beforehand. She was just 18-years-old when they first met, and one of their first dates was to McDonald’s.
Many fans have not heard of Dean as he prefers to lead a quiet life and stay well out of the limelight. After all, Dolly is the star; she’s the one everybody really wants to see.
The Joelene singer recently shared her secret for a long and happy marriage. She told People that the two lovebirds still enjoy a good old-fashioned date night.
Dolly admitted that they are less likely to go to McDonald’s these days as she prefers to cook something they both love and put it in a picnic basket. She said they would then “go find some riverbank somewhere with our little camper, park, have a picnic.”
If the weather’s poor, the couple will have a candlelight dinner instead. She said that Dean would occasionally surprise her with a bouquet of flowers or, to her delight, write her a poem.
Parton also stressed that another reason she’s had such a successful marriage is that she’s always been comfortable in her own skin.
So, who is Carl Thomas Dean?
Not much is known about Carl Dean as he’s managed to maintain a very low profile. However, we know he’s 78 years old and was born on July 20, 1942, in Nashville, Tennessee.
It appears he’s lived his whole life in Nashville.
According to The Sun, Dean owned a very successful asphalt laying company in Nashville.
He’s retired now, but as of February 2020, he is reportedly worth about $20 million. A drop in the ocean when you consider his wife is thought to be worth a cool $600 million.
Fans expressed surprise Dolly Parton has been married so long
Many fans have recently taken to Twitter to express their surprise and admiration that Dolly and Carl have maintained such a long and happy marriage.
Folks are calling her marriage a real relationship goal.
Other fans wondered if she’d purposefully kept him a secret.
Singer Shamir Baily wrote: “Dolly Parton having a secret husband for 50 years that some of her band members never even met is iconic.”
Another Twitter user had a theory that no one knows what Dean looks like because we never recognize the pair when they’re together.
Dolly Parton has a new album out for Christmas, A Holly Dolly Christmas, available now.
You can also catch her biography currently screening on Netflix, Dolly Parton’s Heartstrings. She also released a new single, When Life Is Good Again, last May.
The still young at heart singer also revealed earlier this year that she hoped to recreate her iconic Playboy magazine cover from 1978. She’s hoping to do it for her 75th birthday.