KEY POINTS

  • Dolly Parton says having no kids allowed her to focus more on her work
  • She says a big part of her success as an artist comes from her "freedom" to work
  • The Grammy winner believes God intended for her to treat everyone's children as her own

Dolly Parton has revealed that she owes a big part of her success to the "freedom" that not having children to raise gave her.

On Friday's episode of Apple TV+'s "The Oprah Conversation," Parton looked back at her legendary music career, telling host Oprah Winfrey that she was able to put in more time into her work as she had no kids with her husband of 54 years, Carl Dean. 

"Since I had no kids, and my husband was pretty independent, I had freedom," the 74-year-old singer said. "So I think a big part of my whole success is the fact that I was free to work."

But this doesn't mean that Parton doesn't like taking care of children. In fact, she launched Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, a program that mails free books to kids until they begin school, in 1995 to ensure every child would have them, regardless of their family's income.

"I didn't have children because I believed that God didn't mean for me to have kids so everybody's kids could be mine, so I could do things like Imagination Library because if I hadn't had the freedom to work, I wouldn't have done all the things I've done," Parton explained. "I wouldn't be in a position to do all of the things I'm doing now."

In the interview, Parton also talked about aging, joking that she would never grow old as she had no time for it. She added that she would be "the best I can be at whatever age."

"I don't think about my life in terms of numbers. First of all, I ain't never gonna be old because I ain't got time to be old. I can't stop long enough to grow old," she said while laughing.

The Grammy winner also joked that she would "look like a cartoon" at 95 or "as young as my plastic surgeons will allow me."

"But I think more than anything, it's about what comes from inside you," Parton added. "It's an attitude, and you gotta shine from within. Sometimes, that can make you feel young and make you seem young to other people.”

In October, Parton spoke about her relationship with her husband, whom she has been married to for over five decades. She revealed that she was aware of the rumors claiming that Dean doesn't exist because he doesn't join her on her tours.

Parton explained that she kept him out of the spotlight and that their relationship is very good.

"We have very similar tastes," she said, adding, "we love to travel around our little RV, and we don't like parties and all that stuff."

Dolly Parton Dolly Parton attends the Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas on April 3, 2016. Photo: Getty Images/David Becker