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Dolly Parton on Gay Rumors, New Memoir\t

Dolly Parton on Gay Rumors, New Memoirt

By JUJU CHANG and VICTORIA THOMPSON t

Nov 26, 2012, 3:45 PM

Country music titan Dolly Parton is anything but shy.

In an exclusive interview with "Nightline," Parton dished about her love life (including those rumors that she is secretly gay), losing a drag queen lookalike contest and building an entertainment empire estimated at half a billion dollars.

In her long reign as a country music legend, Parton, now 66, has done it all. In her new motivational memoir, "Dream More," which will be released on Nov. 27, Parton talks about growing up dirt poor in Sevierville, Tenn., in a cabin with 11 siblings. She said she modeled her signature big, blonde hair and red-lipped, voluptuous-Dolly look after the town tramp.

"There was this woman, we won't call her names, but she was beautiful," she said. "I had never seen anybody, you know, with the yellow hair all piled up and the red lipstick and the rouge and the high heeled shoes, and I thought, 'This is what I want to look like.'"

Parton is refreshingly honest about things most entertainers guard ferociously, including rumors about her love life.

"I've... been accused of being involved with every man I'm ever seen with or worked with," she said. "Maybe I have, maybe I ain't. I never tell if I have. But you know people always saying that."

by Anonymousreply 2811/27/2012

Parton has also been accused of being secretly gay and romantically involved with one of her oldest childhood friends, Judy Ogle. She denied the rumors said she even bonded with talk show queen Oprah Winfrey over the false tabloid claims. Parton has been married to her husband, Carl Dean, for 46 years.

"Like Gail, her friend, Judy, my friend, they just think that you just can't be that close to somebody," Parton said. "Judy and I have been best friends since we were like in the third and fourth grade… We still just have a great friendship and relationship and I love her as much as I love anybody in the whole world, but we're not romantically involved."

As a campy, vampy icon, Parton said she once entered a drag queen look-alike contest -- and lost. The other contestants didn't know they were going up against the real Dolly.

"They had a bunch of Chers and Dollys that year, so I just over-exaggerated -- made my beauty mark bigger, the eyes bigger, the hair bigger, everything," she said, laughing. "All these beautiful drag queens had worked for weeks and months getting their clothes. So I just got in the line and I just walked across, and they just thought I was some little short gay guy.. but I got the least applause."

Parton is a proud supporter of LGBT rights and even hosts "Gay Day" at her theme park, Dollywood, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn. Parton said the event caught the attention of the Ku Klux Klan.

"When it first started there were people giving us threats, I still get threats," Parton said. "But like I said, I'm in business. I just don't feel like I have to explain myself. I love everybody."

Parton is also not shy about her numerous plastic surgery procedures, and said aging with her breast implants has been just fine.

"I haven't had to have that done in years, and my girls are going pretty good," she said.

by Anonymousreply 111/26/2012

Behind that va-va-voom body is a shrewd businesswoman. She starred in several iconic movies such as "9 to 5" and "Steel Magnolias." She has sold 100 million records and had numerous number-one singles. Her 1974 chart-topping hit, "I Will Always Love You," was later immortalized by Whitney Houston in the 1992 blockbuster film, "The Bodyguard."

"When they played it at her funeral and they lifted her coffin up, man, it was like somebody stabbed me in the heart with a knife," Parton said. "It just overwhelmed me."

Her songs are her legacy, but so too is the Imagination Library, Parton's literary program dedicated to her father who couldn't read or write.

"We've given out 40 million books since we've started, which is a lot of books for a lot of kids," she said.

Parton may help a lot of kids, but she and Dean never had children of their own.

"I often wonder, because he's tall and he's dark and I'm little and blonde and I just always wondered what our kids would have looked like had we had them," she said.

Parton said she doesn't have any regrets about not having children.

"God didn't let me have kids so everybody's kids could be mine," she said. "I can keep my nieces and nephews and then when I'm sick of them, I can say, 'Hey, come get these kids, they're driving me crazy.' I'm a Great Aunt Granny, is what they call me."

And Parton has no plans to slow down any time soon.

"I will never retire unless I have to," she said, laughing. "As long as I'm able to get up in the morning, get that makeup on and my high heels on, and even if I can't wear high heels, I'm going to do like Mae West, I'm going to sit in a wheelchair with my high heels on."

by Anonymousreply 211/26/2012

I want my own Dolly.

by Anonymousreply 311/26/2012

Dolly is awesome. You couldnt ask for a better lgbt ally.

by Anonymousreply 411/26/2012

I can't snark, I just can't.

by Anonymousreply 511/26/2012

L-O-V-E her. (Also going to see "9 to 5, the Musical" in January.)

by Anonymousreply 611/26/2012

Sorry but her book sounds like the same old same old.I'm not gay, and those are all rumors and I'm pure as sugar, blah, blah, blah. I love Dolly tremendously ,but I'm sorry this is just a big YAWN!

by Anonymousreply 711/26/2012

Dolly Parton would be dragged out into the streets of Nashville and shot, if she ever came out as a Lesbian.

Country Music is American Republican, White and Heterosexual only.

Others need not apply.

by Anonymousreply 811/26/2012

Charley Pride and Darius Rucker would beg to differ.

by Anonymousreply 911/26/2012

They always allow a token heterosexual black guy in. It keeps the lawsuits down. Cowboy Troy is another.

That is 1 every 10 years. Wow......how progressive!

by Anonymousreply 1011/26/2012

I don't know what Dolly's hubby Carl looks like now (he's notoriously shy about publicity), but when he was younger he was one fine looking man.

by Anonymousreply 1111/26/2012

Most of the country music I listen to is made by Canadian lesbians and FTMs. And it's a lot better than the pop crap.

by Anonymousreply 1211/26/2012

Oh R8. Care to comment on black areas? Really, there's plenty of homophobia in all communities.

by Anonymousreply 1311/26/2012

I've never thought Dolly was gay. I think if Judy and her were really lesbian lovers, she would be a little more discreet in terms of discussing their relationship.

But she's brazenly admitted to sleeping in the same bed with Judy numerous times over the years.

by Anonymousreply 1411/26/2012

R8 plenty country musicians are democrats...I don't know about the percentages of country music fans though.

Anyway, I LOVE Dolly. I love how she was one of the first great female entertainment businesswoman. People love to give all the credit to Vadge, but Dolly was a strong woman first. I love how she basically said to Elvis and his handlers FU you're not gonna own the rights to my song "I Will Always Love You". Obviously that proved to be a great decision as Whitney turned it into 1 of the all-time classic hits.

by Anonymousreply 1511/26/2012

i've slepted in the bed with my lesbian friend and though about ten years ago she stated she was attracted to me. Flattered but I wasn't interested and we are still friends. I was supposed to go on vacation with her last week but wasn't able to make it due to work.

by Anonymousreply 1611/26/2012

[quote]"God didn't let me have kids so everybody's kids could be mine," she said.

Aww! I wish I could hug her right now.

by Anonymousreply 1711/26/2012

Dolly is not gay. But I do agree with those of you who say this book will be nothing more than her usual sugary sweet countrified self-deprication...or whatever you said. The last thing her fans need or--I'll venture to say--want is another boob or looking trashy joke, which we've all heard before. Dolly is best when she's a bit bitchy and when she ventures outside of the country confines. Her duet with Culture Club among her top work, her bluegrass albums are Dolly at her gothic best, and her re-working of "Peace Train" with Junior Vasquez is classic diva. She has a dance album still unreleased, which would be an intriguing listen. In the 80s she even pulled off quasi-metal versions of "Downtown" & "I Walk The Line". Love Dolly, especially when she eases up on "being Dolly".

by Anonymousreply 1811/26/2012

I am so gay. I read R16 and thought of Rose Nylund and Dorothy's friend Jean.

by Anonymousreply 1911/26/2012

My lady ham is quivering!

by Anonymousreply 2011/26/2012

R19 The Lebanese one? Like Danny Thomas?

by Anonymousreply 2111/26/2012

Hasn't Dolly fueled the gay rumours herself? I recall her bad mouthing her husband at some concert and saying she wished she had a warm little woman to go to bed with or something, (I can't remember the exact words).It wasn't that many years ago.

by Anonymousreply 2211/26/2012

The best line I heard from Dolly was when she said that she hopes that she dies while giving a concert so her fans can brag to each other, "I was THERE the night Dolly died onstage, you know!"

by Anonymousreply 2311/26/2012

She would receive death threats. She received death threats when she allowed one of her songs to be included on a Pride Compilation CD a few years ago.

by Anonymousreply 2411/27/2012

R8, that is a major exaggeration.Things have and are changing. People don't care as much anymore no matter what medium of fame a gay person is in.

by Anonymousreply 2511/27/2012

Things are not changing in Country Music, they are actually getting much worse.

Look at Brad Paisleys new video, "This is Country Music". It is practically a Republican American Anthem. Paisley used to support Obama in 2008.

Also there are fewer non-Americans on the Country Music charts than ever before. Few Country Artists get bookings outside of the USA, because of the aggressively Republican and American tone of Country today. (For argument sake, Calgary is the USA - Texas North)

Shania Twain used to do huge concerts in Europe and Australia, so did Garth Brooks. But that was a very long time ago.

by Anonymousreply 2611/27/2012

I'm happy to see all of you think Dolly is so sweet but she was a real CUNT to me!

by Anonymousreply 2711/27/2012

R11, the country music people have always been highly patriotic! What planet are you from? As for the Republican stuff, that is a joke because Obama got reelected.

Paisley used to support Obama in 2008.

So? there were many, not all, Democrats in Hollywood who were disappointed in Obama and didn't vote for anyone in this previous election.

Also there are fewer non-Americans on the Country Music charts than ever before.

Yes, I agree with you on that. It truly is completely sad.Also,Country music isn't true American country anymore because the young and up and coming singers are transforming it into pop and mainstream more and more. Country music today is garbage!

by Anonymousreply 2811/27/2012
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