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Dolly Parton Divulges the Secret to Her 52-Year Marriage to Carl Thomas Dean: ‘Forgive a Lot’

Dolly Parton Reveals Secret to Long Marriage to Carl Thomas Dean
Dolly Parton attends MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Dolly Parton at Los Angeles Convention Center. Rich Fury/Getty Images for NARAS

Making it work. Dolly Parton divulged the secret to her 52-year marriage to Carl Thomas Dean exclusively to Us Weekly the night she was honored as MusiCares Person of the Year.

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“You gotta kinda respect and like each other and forgive a lot of stuff and accept a lot of things,” Parton, 73, told Us of how she makes her five decades-long relationship with Dean, 76, work at the Los Angeles Convention Center on Friday, February 8. “Love each other and keep your vows.”

Some distance can help as well. “It doesn’t hurt to have some separation,” the country legend added. “I stay gone a lot, so we’re excited when we see each other!”

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Parton’s goddaughter Miley Cyrus also made an appearance at the event, alongside dad Billy Ray and mom Tish. Though the Hannah Montana alum, 26, didn’t post a picture with the guest of honor on Instagram, she did refer to her as “family” in a caption posted on Saturday, February 9.

The former Disney Channel star joined Shawn Mendes and Mark Ronson during the ceremony for a performance of “Islands in the Stream,” which was originated by Parton and Kenny Rogers in 1983.

The “Malibu” crooner recently changed her last name. “Miley Ray Hemsworth now, actually,” husband Liam Hemsworth clarified during an appearance on Live With Kelly and Ryan earlier on Friday.

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“She will still be obviously known as Miley Cyrus, but she took my name, which is great,” the Hunger Games star, 29, noted. “That was honestly one of the best things about it. I didn’t ask her to take my name, but she was like, ‘No, of course I’m taking your name.'”

Parton and Dean got married in May 1966, while Cyrus and Hemsworth tied the knot on December 23, 2018.

With reporting by Amanda Champagne

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