Dolly Parton Recreates 1978 Playboy Cover For Her Husband's Birthday

The country icon wanted to make Carl Thomas Dean blush by posing in bunny ears and a bustier. "He still thinks I’m a hot chick after 57 years," she quipped.

Dolly Parton has made good on her earlier vow to return to the cover of Playboy magazine ― well, sort of.

The country icon posted a short video to her social media pages on Tuesday to wish her husband, Carl Thomas Dean, a happy birthday. In it, she wore a black bustier, a bow tie and bunny ears in an homage to the look she sported in the October 1978 issue of Playboy.

“Remember, some time back, I said I was going to pose in Playboy magazine when I was 75? Well, I’m 75, and they don’t have a magazine anymore,” Parton quipped. “But my husband always loved the original cover of Playboy, so I was trying to think of something to do to make him happy.”

“He still thinks I’m a hot chick after 57 years,” she added, “and I’m not going to try and talk him out of that.”

The clip concludes with a snapshot of Parton, who turned 75 in January, presenting Dean with a framed copy of her original Playboy cover alongside the 2021 replica.

At the time of her 1978 appearance, Parton was the first female country artist to appear on Playboy’s cover. Though she didn’t pose nude for the magazine, it was still considered a risky move for a mainstream star.

In an interview with “60 Minutes Australia” that aired last year, Parton said she’d approached Playboy with the idea, but wasn’t sure if the magazine’s staff would approve it. Later, she laughed off the notion that she was somehow too mature for the men’s magazine.

“I’m kind of cartoonish and cartoons don’t really age that much,” she said at the time. “When I’m 90, I’ll probably look about the same way. Just thicker makeup, bigger hair!”

Dolly Parton as she appeared in Playboy's October 1978 issue.
Dolly Parton as she appeared in Playboy's October 1978 issue.
Harry Langdon via Getty Images

The nine-time Grammy winner has, once again, been enjoying a career resurgence in recent months. On July 27, she’ll release a new single, “Sent From Above.” And last week, it was announced she’d received an Emmy nomination for Netflix’s “Christmas in the Square,” her 2020 holiday movie that also starred Christine Baranski.

She received global praise for donating $1 million to Tennessee’s Vanderbilt University last year to fund research toward the COVID-19 vaccine. In March, she captured her own jab for posterity in a short Instagram video and reworked the lyrics to her 1973 classic “Jolene” to suit the moment.

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