Dolly Parton Gives Gabby Barrett Marriage Advice as Idol Alum Covers 'I Will Always Love You'
"Marriage is a business too," Dolly Parton tells Gabby Barrett in a video interview for Amazon Music shared exclusively with PEOPLE
As Gabby Barrett's one-year wedding anniversary with her husband, fellow American Idol alum Cade Foehner, approaches in October, she's getting advice from someone who knows a thing or to about making a marriage last: Dolly Parton.
In celebration of her new Amazon Original cover of Parton's 1973 hit "I Will Always Love You," Barrett — who is currently expecting her first child, a baby girl, with Foehner — sat down with the country legend, 74, and asked her how she's managed to keep her 54-year marriage to husband Carl Dean strong.
"My husband and I always had a great friendship," Parton said in the video interview, shared exclusively with PEOPLE. "We're both funny, and we both have a great and warped sense of humor so we've always had a good time. He's pretty much a loner and a homebody, and I'm a gypsy. But when I'm home, I love that. We don't do the same thing so it gives us different stuff to talk about. He doesn't get involved in my business, and I don't in his, so we have our own little world that we create for ourselves."
"I've always made jokes that the reason our marriage has lasted so long is because I stay gone," she continued. "Well, there's a lot of truth in that. We're not in each other's face all the time. I think there's a lot to be said about having some sensible separation because you can't be with somebody 24/7, 365 and not want to smack their face now and then."
Throughout their marriage, Parton said that her and Dean "have never fought."
"We've never bickered back and forth because I never wanted us to say bad things that we would have to remember," she said. "We get a little pissy now and then, but we'll just kind of walk off or go do something else and let that die down. You have to work at anything. Marriage is a business too, and you got to look at it like that. You got to make the right decisions for all the little things that come up."
Parton then went on to tell the "I Hope" singer, 20, that the first year of marriage "is probably the hardest."
"You are trying to figure each other out and learn," she said. "That's the year that you get the most rubbed wrong only because you're having to share space with somebody you've never had to share your space with before. Your habits are different than theirs so you got to work those little things out."
"It's best just to go to the other room rather than getting in a big old argument about it, cool off and know they're just as entitled to their opinion and their space as you are yours," she added. "So if you can think of it like that, and just know that when you both feel like you can calm down and talk about it, that's where the love is supposed to come in and the understanding ... Then if you get that worked out, smack him across the head."
Earlier in the video, Barrett asked Parton about everything from how her childhood inspired her songwriting to how many songs she's written total, whether she wrote "I Will Always Love You" and "Jolene" in the same day and why she chose not to let Elvis Presley cover "I Will Always Love You."
By the end of the clip, the two are talking about plans to sing something together in the future.
"I know that Gabby will have a long and prosperous career ahead of her," Parton tells PEOPLE. "She has what it takes to make it in our industry ... talent, she's hard-working, humble and kind."
Barrett has been singing Parton's songs since she was 11 years old, which is why getting the chance to make an Amazon Original cover of "I Will Always Love You" was so special.
"I feel so much joy today releasing 'I Will Always Love You,' one of my favorite songs of all time and one of the greatest songs ever written, as an Amazon Original," Barrett said in a statement. "The thing about this song and about all of Dolly's catalog is that her music is timeless; it comes straight from her heart. You can tell that she's being honest and sincere in every lyric she writes. Every story is genuine to her life. Something I strive for, that she has set such a perfect example of in Country music. I am honored to have covered this song, and I hope you all love it as much as I do."
The cover is the latest development to come from Barrett's partnership with Amazon Music, which also launched her Breakthrough campaign as she began prepping her debut album, Goldmine, in early Spring of 2020.
Released in June, Goldmine's first-day streams exceeded any other debut country album ever on Amazon Music globally, and the album ended the week as the most-streamed debut country album in history, with Amazon Music delivering the highest percentage of streams for the album of any streaming service in the U.S.
"Watching Gabby's incredible rise and continued success has been amazing, and we are so thrilled she is releasing this breathtaking Amazon Original today as another component of her Breakthrough campaign," Kelly Rich, Country Lead for Amazon Music, said in a statement.
Barrett's Amazon Original cover of "I Will Always Love You" is available to stream and purchase now exclusively on Amazon Music. In the Amazon Music app for iOS and Android and on Alexa-enabled devices, customers can simply ask, "Alexa play the Amazon Original by Gabby Barrett."
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