Dolly Parton on Gay Rumors, Losing a Drag Queen Look-Alike Contest and New Memoir

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Dolly Parton Tells All

Behind that va-va-voom body is a shrewd businesswoman. She starred in several iconic movies such as "9 to 5" and "Steel Magnolias." She has sold 100 million records and had numerous number-one singles. Her 1974 chart-topping hit, "I Will Always Love You," was later immortalized by Whitney Houston in the 1992 blockbuster film, "The Bodyguard."

"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 said. "It just overwhelmed me."

Her songs are her legacy, but so too is the Imagination Library, Parton's literary program dedicated to her father who couldn't read or write.

"We've given out 40 million books since we've started, which is a lot of books for a lot of kids," she said.

Parton may help a lot of kids, but she and Dean never had children of their own.

"I often wonder, because he's tall and he's dark and I'm little and blonde and I just always wondered what our kids would have looked like had we had them," she said.

Parton said she doesn't have any regrets about not having children.

"God didn't let me have kids so everybody's kids could be mine," she said. "I can keep my nieces and nephews and then when I'm sick of them, I can say, 'Hey, come get these kids, they're driving me crazy.' I'm a Great Aunt Granny, is what they call me."

And Parton has no plans to slow down any time soon.

"I will never retire unless I have to," she said, laughing. "As long as I'm able to get up in the morning, get that makeup on and my high heels on, and even if I can't wear high heels, I'm going to do like Mae West, I'm going to sit in a wheelchair with my high heels on."

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