Dolly Parton on how not having kids impacted her career: 'I had freedom'

The country icon has been married to Carl Dean for 54 years

Dolly Parton is opening up about her decades-long career in music.

The 74-year-old country icon has been quite the busy bee in 2020 despite limitations the coronavirus pandemic has placed on live shows. Last month, the singer-songwriter released her first Christmas album in three decades, and she'll continue to spread holiday cheer to her fans in the upcoming "Holly Dolly Christmas" TV special on CBS.

While doing press for her new album, the crooner has discussed several major milestones of her life, including her long-lasting marriage to her husband, Carl Dean, as well as her upcoming 75th birthday. Speaking about her family with Oprah Winfrey, Parton explained how not having kids affected her career.

"Since I had no kids, and my husband was pretty independent, I had freedom," Parton told the TV icon on "The Oprah Conversation" on Apple TV via People.

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"So I think a big part of my whole success is the fact that I was free to work," the entertainer said.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Dolly Parton reveals how not having children of her own impacted her career.

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Dolly Parton reveals how not having children of her own impacted her career. (Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

Parton said she believes not having kids was a part of God's plan for her. 

"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," she said. "I wouldn't be in a position to do all of the things I'm doing now."

Parton's Imagination Library provides books at no cost to children between birth and the age of 5 in communities around the U.S., Canada, United Kingdom, Australia and the Republic of Ireland.

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The music icon is also known for being a godmother to singer Miley Cyrus.

Dolly Parton has been married to her husband, Carl Dean, for 54 years.

Dolly Parton has been married to her husband, Carl Dean, for 54 years. (Getty)

Parton was also asked if the "sacrifices" in her life outweigh the rewards of her career. She responded, "I've made sacrifices, but I think, like I said, I believe what I know I'm supposed to do."

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In the same interview, Winfrey questioned the performer about turning 75 in early 2021. Parton declared she doesn't even have time in her days to think about getting older.

"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," Parton said, provoking laughter from Winfrey.

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She also reassured the host that if she makes it another 20 years, she won't be worried about aging.

"I'll have on the makeup. I'll look as young as my plastic surgeons will allow me and [with] all the makeup and lighting and all that. But I think more than anything, it's about what comes from inside you," Parton said, according to the outlet.