Dolly Parton has said she is “almost glad” she never had children because she wouldn’t want to raise them in the current political climate.
The country music star, 77, spoke of how “nobody is willing to listen to anybody” and how today’s children “know everything”.
In an interview with Mojo magazine, she said: “Everything is out there. Kids know everything, they see everything, they hear everything. We have to discuss stuff.
“I know this sounds like a selfish, awful thing to say, but I’m almost glad I never had children.
“I worry myself to death about my little nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews.”
The country singer continued: “It seems like we’re not making any progress, mostly because nobody’s trying.
“Nobody’s willing to listen to anybody else.
“Everybody already knows everything. You’re going to teach your children the same thing, whether it’s right or wrong.”
Speaking about her own family, she said half of them are Democrats and half of them are Republicans.
“You can’t even have a Christmas dinner, especially if somebody gets drinking,” she said.
“You think ‘Oh Lord, it’s not even worth it any more’. We’ve lost families, we’ve lost friends, all because of the great divide – that’s just politics.”
‘God didn’t mean for me to have kids’
The singer-songwriter does not have children with her long-term husband Carl Dean, who she married in 1966.
She added: “My husband and I, we just think of ourselves as each other’s child,” she said.
“He’s my only child, and I’m his only child.”
Ms Parton has reflected on not having children a number of times in the past.
In an interview with Oprah Winfrey in 2020, she told 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,” she said, referring to a book-gifting initiative she set up for young children.
She continued: “If I hadn’t had the freedom to work, I wouldn’t have done all the things I’ve done,” adding, “I wouldn’t be in a position to do all of the things I’m doing now.”
In 2016, she told The Guardian: “I would have been a great mother, I think.
“I would probably have given up everything else. Because I would’ve felt guilty about that, if I’d have left them [to work, to tour].
“Everything would have changed. I probably wouldn’t have been a star.”