Dolly Parton responds to gay rumors, talks love life and Whitney Houston
Dolly Parton is clearing up some rumors about her love life.
The legendary singer is featured in an interview for "Nightline" on Thursday, November 26, and responded to gay rumors, talked about her love life and Whitney Houston. The singer is promoting her new motivational memoir "Dream More" due out on November 27.
There have reportedly been rumors for years that Parton is secretly gay and that she is romantically involved with her childhood friend Judy Ogle. She told "Nightline" she has bonded with Oprah Winfrey -- who has also been the subject of similar rumors with her friend Gayle King -- over the matter.
"Like Gayle [King], her friend, Judy, my friend, they just think that you just can't be that close to somebody," Parton told the news program. "Judy and I have been best friends since we were like in the third and fourth grade ... We still just have a great friendship and relationship and I love her as much as I love anybody in the whole world, but we're not romantically involved."
Parton has been married to her husband Carl Dean for 46 years. The singer is also a supporter of the LGBT community and has a "Gay Day" at Dollywood, her theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
The 66-year-old also talked aging with her breast implants saying, "I haven't had to have that done in years, and my girls are going pretty good."
Parton, who is also a noted songwriter, wrote the ballad "I Will Always Love You." The song was made famous by Whitney Houston when she covered Parton's song on "The Bodyguard" soundtrack in the early 90s.
Parton wrote and originally performed "I Will Always Love You" in 1974 for her 13th studio album "Jolene." She later rerecorded the song in 1982 when it was included on the soundtrack of the film "The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas," starring Parton and Burt Reynolds.
The singer recalled watching Houston's funeral on television and hearing the song play.
"When they played it at her funeral and they lifted her coffin up, man, it was like somebody stabbed me in the heart with a knife," Parton told the news program. "It just overwhelmed me."
Parton had previously said that she had an emotional reaction in February when she heard Jennifer Hudson perform "I Will Always Love You" during the tribute to Whitney Houston at the Grammys.
Dolly Parton's interview airs on "Nightline" Monday, November 26, at 11:35 p.m. ET. The Walt Disney Company is the parent company of OTRC.com and ABC.