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Dolly Parton opens up about her husband, privacy: ‘There is a part that belongs to God and to me’

The country singer explains in a new interview why she's fiercely private about some aspects of her life.

When it comes to her professional life, Dolly Parton is basically an open book. But the country crooner has somehow managed to keep her personal life rather private, and she's now sharing how she pulls it off.

The 76-year-old appears in the International Women’s Day episode of “The Kelleigh Bannen Show” on Apple Music Country, where she opens up about the boundaries she has set to ensure that her husband, Carl Dean, can enjoy a private life even though she works in the spotlight.

When asked how she learned which parts of her life to keep private, Parton says some wisdom from her mother helped.

"I learned early on. And I think my mama told me when I was young, ‘Always keep something back for you. You can give what you’ve got to give, but don’t give it all away. Always keep something for you,'" she said. 

Parton says maintaining a certain level of privacy has benefitted her relationship.

"I’ve known how to keep my husband private. It's just natural to me to protect the things and the people I love and to protect my own privacy," she says.

The "Queen of Country" has been in the business since she was 10 and there are a lot of things that the public knows about her. But she's fiercely private about the other aspects of her life.

"There’s a part that belongs to God and to me. It's a sacred place that just is mine and God’s, and I've known how to do that because I think God has directed that," she said. "I pray that also that God will give me enough to share and enough to spare when it comes to my money but also to myself. Let me share everything I can but let me keep me." 

In November, she offered a rare glimpse into her marriage when she shared a sweet throwback photo of herself with Dean to celebrate Thanksgiving.

In 2020, Parton told "Entertainment Tonight" that some people have even suggested Dean doesn't exist since he doesn't share the spotlight with her.

“A lot of people have thought that through the years, because he does not want to be in the spotlight at all,” she said at the time. “It’s just not who he is. He’s, like, a quiet, reserved person and he figured if he ever got out there in that, he’d never get a minute’s peace and he’s right about that.”

The full "Kelleigh Bannen Show" interview with Parton airs Tuesday on Apple Music Country.