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Dolly Parton Gets ‘Together’ With Ellen DeGeneres

Rick Diamond, Getty Images

Dolly Parton had several things to celebrate when she returned to the ‘Ellen DeGeneres Show’ as a guest on Friday (May 27).

Decked out in a sparkly alligator-print jacket and short pants, Dolly decided to forgo the usual dance-accompanied entrance most guests will do before sitting down to chat with the host, telling Ellen, “I can’t dance. I had to learn to dance in the ‘Joyful Noise‘ movie with Queen Latifah. I had to learn a few moves, but I’ll wait and show you.”

The topic of her upcoming wedding anniversary came up next, with the iconic entertainer saying that on May 30, she and husband Carl Dean will celebrate 45 years of marriage. Noting that her elusive other half routinely shuns the spotlight, Dolly nevertheless showed off their wedding photo, taken in Ringgold, Ga., in 1966, and shared a few other personal snapshots of the couple.

“Are there recent pictures of Carl?,” Ellen asked, to which Dolly replied, “Well, there are but he doesn’t like to be seen. In fact, he’ll kill me for this. You wouldn’t know him now. His hair is gray, he’s very distinguished looking. But he’s a good guy. We’ve been friends for all these years, in addition to everything else that a wonderful married couple is supposed to be.”

“Does he ever travel with you? Does he tour?,” Ellen asked.

“No, he doesn’t like to do that,” Dolly explained. “He gets nervous seeing me perform. It’s almost like seeing your kid in a recital. He’s afraid I’ll mess up. Actually, he has seen me a time or two and it did relax him a little. He saw that I do mess up and it’s OK because people are not gonna punish me for it.”

Although Dolly revealed that she doesn’t bother Carl with her songwriting, once she finishes an album, she will command his attention.

“I’ll just say, ‘sit your a– down, you’ve got to listen to this,’ and he will. And usually he will, if I say that.”

In addition to the oft-discussed subject of Dolly impersonators, Dolly told Ellen about the lookalike contest she lost one Halloween, and also about the “science” of her makeup routine (which includes wearing makeup to bed and keeping a wig nearby in case she has to go outside in a hurry). Ellen offered a practical (and hilarious) gift to make things more simple for the singer — a made-up plastic face mask, complete with blond wig for her to wear as needed!

Dolly returned later in the show for the world premiere of ‘Together You and I.’ The uptempo track is the first single from the superstar’s upcoming album, ‘Better Day,’ scheduled for release on June 28. Dolly’s world tour begins July 17.

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