Dolly Parton is Celebrating 56 Years of Marriage to Carl Thomas Dean

Congratulations, you lovebirds!

Dolly Parton has a lot to be proud of—multiple multiplatinum albums, three Guinness World Records, nearly 200 million books given away through her Imagination Library charity, the biggest hair, and perhaps inspiring the return of Mexican Pizza to Taco Bell. However, the thing she may be most proud of is her marriage to Carl Dean. The longtime couple is now marking 56 years together.

While the couple keep their relationship private and Dean is known for staying out of the spotlight, the two clearly—and admittedly—have a special bond. How could they not after the two met on Parton's very first day in Nashville. She was just 18 years old and had just moved to the big city and, as the story goes, they locked eyes outside of the Wishy Washy Laundromat. They began dating shortly after, starting with a very romantic first date at the McDonald's drive through.

Dolly Parton 1966

Courtesy The Everett Collection

They tied the knot two years later in May of 1966, a dream come true for Dean. According to Entertainment Tonight around the time of the couple's 50th wedding anniversary, the famously private husband said that the first thing he thought when he laid eyes on Dolly was that he wanted to marry her. "My second thought was, 'Lord she's good lookin.' And that was the day my life began."

The feeling is clearly mutual as some of the country legend's greatest love songs have been inspired by their romance, including "From Here to the Moon and Back" where Dolly croons, "Who else in this world will love you like that? / Love everlasting, I promise you that."

Now, despite Parton joking that they are "sick of each other" after all this time and "may not make it to their next anniversary" after spending so much time together during the pandemic, the couple has been hitched for 56 years and are still going strong.

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