Dolly Parton does not regret never being a mother.

The country music icon has been married to her husband Carl Dean for more than half a century and is at peace with not having kids because of the charity work she does with youngsters.

Dolly told You magazine: "I'm almost kind of glad. I look now at all the work I do with children, and I think, 'God didn't let me have children so everybody's children could be mine.' We're able to be generous, we can do more for one another."

The "Jolene" hit-maker explained last month that she felt relieved that she did not have to bring up children in the modern world.

Dolly told Mojo magazine: "It seems like we’re not making any progress... Nobody’s willing to listen to anybody else.

"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."

Dolly grew up "dirt poor" in Tennessee, where she and Carl still live, but explained that the skills she acquired meant she could have coped with losing her fame and fortune.

The 77-year-old singer said: "I always thought that if I had to go back to it, at least I grew up knowing how to raise a garden, how to plan food; I would know how to survive.

"I bought the old home place and fixed it up, like it used to be, so I could go back if I needed to. But no, I expect to be working and doing something all my life."

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