May 30, 2014 -- Dolly Parton doesn't have children, and she's fine with that.
However, the country star said that she and her husband of nearly 50 years, Carl Dean, have all the perks of being parents and grandparents.
"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. I've loved their kids just like they're my grandkids, and now I've got great-grandkids!" she told People magazine. "I often think, it just wasn't meant for me to have kids so everybody's kids can be mine."
Parton, 68, said that her nieces and nephews call her "Aunt Granny" and call Dean "Uncle PeePaw," while their children call the country star "GeeGee" or "great-granny."
Her relationship to children has always been special because, in some ways, she said, she's a lot like them.
"I think kids relate to me because they think of me like a Mother Goose or a Fairy Godmother," she said. "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."