Dolly Parton has been married for many years to Carl Dean, who she met off the bus in Nashville. However, the pair did not have children and instead, she became an aunt to her nieces and nephews and a ‘fairy godmother’ to Miley Cyrus. The story of how this happened was pretty adorable, as was the reason Dolly became godmother to Miley.
When asked how the godmother role came about, Billy Ray Cyrus said: “I ask myself that all the time! Every day ‘How did Dolly Parton?’
“I wish it was complex but when Achey [Breaky Heart, his hit debut single] came out, Dolly put me on her tour as the opening act.
“It wasn’t long after that that some of the headlines in the tabloids had Dolly and myself, and pictures of us saying something was going on.
“I was so upset about it and I was afraid she’d be upset about it – I just hated it – and I really hadn’t met her.
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“So I told my manager, ‘do you think I could go meet Dolly and tell her how sorry I am about this?’
“Before my show I went to Dolly’s dressing room and they escorted me in, and Dolly’s sitting there all beautiful and like an angel.
“And I came over and said, ‘Miss Dolly, I’m so sorry about this,’ and laid that tabloid on her dressing room table.
“She looked at it and looked at me and said, ‘Honey that s*** sells records.’
“And we laughed and I never thought about it. From that moment on we became very good friends.”
Clearly their closeness was the reason Dolly was asked, though she has a different version of events.
She told SiriusXM’s Just Jenny in 2019: “I worked with Billy Ray for all those years, when he had ‘Achy Breaky Heart’.
“He worked with me on some shows we did in the early days. He opened some of my shows.
“We just got to know each other. I wrote a song called ‘Romeo,’ and had him in a video.
“We just kind of gelled, ’cause we’re both country kids. We had a lot of fun just talking about that.
“And then when Miley came along, I said, ‘She’s got to be my fairy goddaughter.'”
For Dolly, not having her own children is not as important, as she is able to see the children around her, whether it is her nieces and nephews or her godchildren, grow up and continue the line.
She added: “It’s been so amazing that I’ve had all these little kids that grew up with that, and now have their little kids.
“All through the generations, they keep bringing me back around and I love it.”
She and her husband have been married for many years, but never had children.
In various interviews Dolly has expressed how, while sometimes she misses the fact she does not have a child, her career was part of the reason she opted against it.
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