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Dolly Parton married her husband, Carl Dean, in 1966, and the two have been together for 57 years. One reason their marriage remains successful is Dean’s unwavering support of Parton’s career, even though he is more of a rock fan than country music. Parton is finally making a rock album featuring songs her husband loves, and she wanted to make him happy more than anyone else. 

Dolly Parton chose rock songs for her upcoming album with her husband in mind

Parton is a legend in the country music industry. Songs like “Jolene” and “Coat of Many Colors” made her an iconic star who has remained prominent since the 1960s. She is also an influential figure in Tennessee, as she has several businesses throughout the state, including her amusement park, Dollywood. 

While her husband adores her as her fans do, he doesn’t share an equal passion for her music. In an interview with Good Morning Britain, Parton said Dean’s more a fan of rock and bluegrass, so her music sits somewhere in the middle. 

“He likes hard rock, he likes Led Zeppelin and bluegrass music, so my music is somewhere in between,” Parton said. “I mean, he doesn’t dislike it, but he doesn’t go out of his way to play my records, let’s put it that way.”

Recently, Parton received the honor of induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She felt honored but conflicted because she wasn’t sure if she belonged there. So, she decided to make a rock album, Rockstar, to prove she deserved her place in the Hall. The album consists of 30 songs, with many being covers of classic rock songs. In a recent press conference in London, Parton said she chose songs her husband loved as she wants him to love this album more than anyone else. 

“I chose songs he loved and some of my favorites… I made him sit down and listen to the whole (album). So in the end, he said: ‘It’s really good,’” she shared. “To me, that was like somebody else jumping up and down saying, ‘That’s the best thing I’ve heard’. So that made me feel good. I wanted to please him, to be honest, more than anybody else.”

Parton covered ‘Stairway to Heaven’ to redeem her previous attempt


Dolly Parton Almost Made a Bob Dylan Cover Album

Parton covered Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” in 2002 for her album Halos & Horns. The Tennessee singer gave the rock classic some bluegrass flair while providing her usual light and melodic vocals. However, Dolly Parton said her husband didn’t like the track, giving it a less-than-desirable nickname. 

“He always loved the ‘Stairway to Heaven.’ He loved Led Zeppelin. And years ago, I did ‘Stairway to Heaven’ as a bluegrass, a gospel thing,” Dolly told TODAY. “And Carl, I played it to him, and he said, ‘I think that’s a little more like ‘Stairwell to Hell’ than ‘Stairway to Heaven!’”

“Stairway to Heaven” is one of the songs Parton recorded for Rockstar. While she wanted to get Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page and Robert Plant to appear on it, that didn’t happen. So, she went in a different direction and is being joined by Lizzo and Sasha Flute. It’s not who most would think of for “Stairway to Heaven”, but Dolly will find a way to make it work.