Dolly Parton has been a country star for most of her life, and yet little is known about her husband of 52-years, recluse hunk Carl Thomas Dean.
During a cover story interview with PEOPLE, the "I Will Always Love You" singer opened up about her low-key relationship with her hubby, who she met when she was just 18 years old.
"I've been married for 53 years come next May, and my husband and I have a great relationship," said Parton, 72. "We've been together most of our lives."
Though Dean and Parton are never spotted at public events together — especially Hollywood galas — the arrangement seems to work just fine for the love birds.
"I always joke and laugh when people ask me what's the key to my long marriage and lasting love," continued the singer. "I always say 'Stay gone!' and there's a lot of truth to that. I travel a lot, but we really enjoy each other when we're together and the little things we do."
RadarOnline.com readers know Parton and Dean eloped in 1966 after her record company told her they didn't want her to get married.
"We'd already sent out invitations and so I thought, 'I ain't waiting!' We went that same weekend to Ringgold, Georgia in a little church. I had a little white dress and little flowers, and my mom went with me," recalled Parton.
And after five wonderful decades, the two renewed their vows two years ago in a "beautiful ceremony" inside their Nashville home with all their friends and loves ones. Plus, the star got to wear the gown of her dreams!
"I never really felt like I had the wedding that we really wanted," said the singer. "He got all dressed up and I got all dressed up. Fifty years is a long time for anything, and I felt that we needed to do something to commemorate this. It's been a good 50 years and I don't know how many more years we'll have left."
Though Parton has long been known for her flashy style and loud, vibrant demeanor, her time with her hubby is very different.
On their days off, the two take mini trips in their "little camper" and go on romantic picnics in Tennessee's countryside. After all, Parton is a country girl at heart.
Though she enjoys the occasional black-tie event, Parton told the publication that Dean prefers the more relaxed pleasures of life.
"When I met my husband, he wanted to take me out to dinner. He pulled up to the drive-in window and got our food at McDonald's," remembered Parton. "We know a few little places we can go without being bothered. He only likes to go places where he can be comfortable!"
And speaking of comfort, Parton said that she still gets dressed up for her longtime love, but regardless of what she wears of what she looks like, he still adores her.
"He doesn't care what I wear as long as I'm happy," revealed Parton. "He loves me the way I am."
The two chose not to have children of their own, but with 52 amazing years of marriage behind them, Dolly Parton and Carl Thomas Dean are doing just fine.
What do you think of the country star's love story? Sound off below.
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