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Dolly Parton sets the record straight on tattoo rumors

So, is she covered in tats, like some people believe? The country music legend addresses the rumors.
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Fans have long speculated about any body art Parton might be sporting.Kevin Mazur / Getty Images
/ Source: TODAY

Dolly Parton wants to clarify the rumors about whether or not she’s inked up her body.

"I do have some tattoos, that's true," Parton, 74, told People. "But they're tasteful. I'm not a tattoo girl."

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She also shot down the chatter that she has them tattooed up and down her arms, while explaining that a medical issue led to her ink.

"My tattoos are pretty, they’re artful and they usually started out to cover some scar, not to make a big statement," she said. "Ribbons and bows and butterflies are the things that I have. I was very sick for a while and I had to wear a feeding tube. It left a little indention in my side and I didn't like it because I’m so fair that scars turn purple on me."

"I like to make positives out of negatives,” she added. “I had a little beehive tattooed over it — a little yellow-and-brown beehive with a tiny little bee on top of the hive. The mouth of it is that little sinkhole."

Parton, whose first Christmas album in 30 years comes out next month, also said she does not have a tattoo of husband Carl Dean.

"No, he's tattooed on my heart," she said, laughing. "Who knows, I may get some more later. I may just have to get covered with tattoos just so everybody could be right!"

The rumors about her tattoos have stuck around about as long as a tattoo itself.

"People said the other day that the reason you wear sleeves is because you have snakes tattooed all over. I said, 'No, I don’t!'" she told TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie in 2014. “I do have a few little tattoos, but they were mostly done to cover scars ‘cause I’m so fair.”

“But they’re not where you can see them,” the Country Music Hall of Famer added.

Parton, who's racked up more than two dozen No. 1 songs on the Billboard country charts, says she’s used to rumors about her, and letting them roll off her back is old hat at this point.

"Oh, yeah! I always laugh at them," she told People. "One, it shows up about every three years in the tabloids, where I'm bedridden because my boobs are so heavy that I'm crippled for life on my back. I just laugh. Well, they are heavy, but they haven't crippled me yet.”