For more than 50 years, the country superstar has been married to a man who prefers to remain of the spotlight.

On May 30, 1966, Dolly Parton married asphalt contractor Carl Dean. The two have been together ever since, despite seeming to have little in common – Parton’s created hit albums, starred in movies and appeared on television, while Dean’s preferred to live away from the spotlight. However, Parton understood her husband’s desire for privacy, even as she became more and more famous, and Dean remained proud of his wife’s career, even when it drew unwanted attention his way. Though their marriage may appear unconventional to outsiders, it’s survived thanks to their mutual love and respect.

They met outside a laundromat

Parton was surprised when husband-to-be Dean entered her life. “I met him the first day I got to Nashville, in 1964. I graduated on a Friday night, went to Nashville on a Saturday morning with dirty clothes and I went to a Laundromat looking for anything but love. I had just left two boyfriends back home,” she told Interview in 1984. As for Dean, it was love at first sight. He revealed: “My first thought was ‘I’m gonna marry that girl. My second thought was, ‘Lord she’s good lookin.'”

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