Dolly Parton: ‘I’m Not a Different Person’ Onstage
Over the course of her career, Dolly Parton's onstage character has made her one of country music's most iconic singers, but the 70-year-old says that what the public sees of her personality isn't all that different from what she's like at home -- it's just a little louder.
"I don’t turn on and off. If I’m out in public, I have to be really on, and more vocal, and present myself. But I have this other side to me that’s very quiet. Sometimes I can go a whole day without saying anything. My best friend, Judy, and my husband, Carl [Dean], when we’re comfortable, we might not say much of anything," Parton tells Vogue. "But I’m not a different person — I’m just a little quieter."
While the limelight may seem second-nature to Parton, her husband is a much more private person, preferring to stay out of the public eye as much as possible. The couple has been married for over 50 years, but Dean has never appeared in public with his famous wife.
"My husband is not one who wants to be just thrown out there. He’s very private, and I’ve always respected that for him and about him," Parton says. "And so, we just try to live our lives. Everybody is not entitled to every single thing you do and thought you think, although I do share as much of my life as I possibly can. I’m not holding back any information, but there are just some things that are sacred and private."
Parton is about to release her latest album, Pure & Simple, on Aug. 19. She has put out dozens of projects since her debut LP was released in 1967, and she attributes a lot of her success to the "spark of love" that she tries to share with her fans every time she's onstage.
"I really do ask God every single day to let me do something, say something, be something that matters to somebody else. To make somebody feel good. To let people see a spark of love," she says. "God is love, that’s the scripture. I remember believing in my childhood that through God, all things are possible. I’m not a religious person. I’m not a religious fanatic. I’m a sinner like everybody else. But I do believe that there is something greater. I try to find the good ... I want to be loved, and so I try to love everybody."
Parton is currently on the road in support of the album, on her Pure & Simple Tour. It is her largest North American tour in more than 20 years.
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