Dolly Parton Tells Oprah About ‘Sacrifices’ She’s Made, Including Not Having Kids

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Katie Jerkovich Entertainment Reporter
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Dolly Parton opened up to Oprah Winfrey about the “sacrifices” she’s made in her career and that includes not having kids.

“Since I had no kids, and my husband was pretty independent, I had freedom,” the 74-year-old legendary country singer shared in a clip from her interview with Winfrey on “The Oprah Conversation” on Apple TV+ that will air Friday. The clip was shared by the “Today” show in a piece published Thursday. (RELATED: Dolly Parton Announces ‘Surprise’ Online Release Of 93 Classic Songs To Help Entertain During Coronavirus Pandemic)

“So I think a big part of my whole success is the fact that I was free to work,” she added.


Parton continued, “And I didn’t have children because I believed that God didn’t mean for me to have kids so everybody’s kids could be mine, so I could do things like Imagination Library because if I hadn’t had the freedom to work, I wouldn’t have done all the things I’ve done.” (RELATED: Celebrate Dolly Parton’s Birthday With Her Most Memorable Looks [SLIDESHOW])

The “Nine to Five” star went on to explain that if she had had kids she “wouldn’t be in a position to do all of the things” she’s doing now.

The Imagination Library is her nonprofit organization which has gifted more than 100 million books to children from the age of birth until kindergarten.

At one point, the “Jolene” hitmaker elaborated on the other sacrifices she’s made to have the success she’s had,  including 25 number one songs on the Billboard country charts.

“I’ve made sacrifices, but I think, like I said, I believe what I know I’m supposed to do,” Dolly shared. “I’ve made the sacrifice of time … and not having time to spend with family, and you give up family and friends, vacation, and work without end, 24/7, 365, but you got to make the sacrifice.”

Dolly and Carl Dean have been married for 54 years. In a recent interview with Closer Weekly, the country superstar revealed that her faith in God saved her life and marriage at a dark time.

“I looked at [the gun] a long time,” Parton explained. “Then, just as I picked it up, just to hold it and look at it for a moment, our little dog, Popeye, came running up the stairs. The tap-tap of his paws jolted me back to reality. I suddenly froze and I put the gun down.”

“I kinda believe Popeye was a spiritual messenger from God,” she added. “I don’t think I’d have done it — killed myself — but I can’t say for sure. Now that I’ve gone through that terrible moment, I can certainly understand the possibilities, even for someone solid like me, if the pain gets bad enough. A belief in God is essential.”

As one friend shared with the outlet, “She always lets God’s hand guide her through life, and she’s always come to the realization that God believes her place is with Carl.”