People Country

Hot Topics:

Dolly Parton: Maybe I Wasn't Meant to Have Kids

UPDATED 05/29/2014 at 03:15 PM EDT Originally published 05/28/2014 at 12:00 PM EDT

Dolly Parton on Kids, Family Members
Dolly Parton on May 13, 2014
Brock Miller/Splash News Online
Dolly Parton never had children, but she's always had a special bond with kids.

"I grew up in a big old family with eight kids younger than me and several of my brothers and sisters came to live with me early on in my life," she tells PEOPLE Country. "I've loved their kids just like they're my grandkids, and now I've got great-grand-kids!"

Her husband Carl Dean is "Uncle PeePaw" to their nieces and nephews, "and they call me 'Aunt Granny,' " says Parton, 68, who just released her 42nd studio album Blue Smoke. "Now I'm GeeGee, which is great-granny. I often think, it just wasn't meant for me to have kids so everybody's kids can be mine."

Her maternal instinct also extends to the many children who have benefited from her Imagination Library, a non-profit that provides free books to preschoolers, who know her as the "Book Lady" rather than a country star.



"I think kids relate to me because they think of me like a Mother Goose or a Fairy Godmother," says the singer. "I'm like a cartoon character – my voice is little and I'm an excitable little person like them! I'm very childlike in that way, in my nature."



Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Bindi Irwin: Remembering My Dad
  • Bindi Irwin: Remembering My Dad
  • Adam Levine's Wedding Details!
  • James Garner: 1928-2014

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

blog comments powered by Disqus
Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners