Dolly Parton’s New Album Was Inspired by Husband Carl Thomas Dean: He’s a ‘Rock ’n’ Roll Freak’

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Love was one of the biggest influences behind Dolly Parton’s latest album, Rockstar. The “Jolene” singer revealed that her longtime husband, Carl Thomas Dean, is “a real rock ’n’ roll freak.”

On the album, due out on November 17, Dolly, 77, covered a number of rock classics in addition to joining forces with several other music icons for a medley of songs. Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, Linda Perry, Ann Wilson and Nikki Six are among the stars who helped bring Dolly’s vision to life.

“I didn’t want to maim them up, and I tried really hard to sing them well and stay as true as I could to the form, but with my voice,” she told The Guardian about performing songs in her husband’s favorite genre.

This wasn’t the first time the songstress dished on how her very private spouse inspired her newest music venture.

“I’m going to do a lot of his favorite songs,” she told E! News of the project ahead of her Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in November 2022. “He loves Mick Jagger, he loves ‘Satisfaction’ — those kind of songs. I’m hoping to have Elton John. I’m hoping to have just a lot of the big classic artists singing some of the classic songs.”

Nobody has been prouder of Dolly’s recent accomplishments than Carl, 81, who has remained largely out of the spotlight for most of their relationship.

“When I got nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I thought, ‘Well, no better time to do it,’” Dolly said of doing a rock album for the first time in an interview with Pollstar in October 2022. “I had always wanted to do it. My husband is a big hard rock ’n’ roll fan, and for years I thought, ‘One of these days I’d like to do an album mainly just for him, just to kind of do it.’”

Dolly Parton wears black. leather outfit
Dolly Parton wears black. leather outfit

While Dolly and Carl have rarely been seen together since getting married in 1966, their love for one another has never wavered.

“She adores and is committed to Carl. They’re a team and Dolly will always be there for him,” an insider exclusively told Closer of their rock-solid marriage in July 2021. “Dolly is steadfast in her devotion and love for him. Dolly, like Carl, has always said that they’re in it for the long haul.”