Dolly Parton reveals the key to her 50-year marriage

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Dolly Parton In Toronto

By: Chelsea Huang

Dolly Parton is celebrating six decades in the business the only way she knows how: with her 43rd solo album.

The singer, who turned 70 this year, released a stripped-down collection of love songs, titled "Pure & Simple," on Friday -- and it just happens to coincide with her 50th anniversary with husband Carl Dean, which she celebrated in June.

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In addition to new songs Parton wrote herself, the self-produced album features two tunes from her past, including her 1975 country ballad, "Say Forever You'll Be Mine."

"Darling, I won't promise you that we'll be happy all the time, but forever I am yours, say forever you'll be mine," she croons.

The lyrics, which she wrote when she first married, still ring true for her and Dean today.

"It was early on in our relationship, so that was the song that I thought summed it up -- and it lasted all these years," she said in an exclusive interview with AOL. "We made an agreement right up front that our fights, our arguments -- that we'd try to work them out. And we knew that it wasn't going to be perfect all the time. It never is with anybody."

It's the refreshing, realistic idea and mindset that marriage is a union and a partnership that has led to the longevity of her relationship. While Parton says she never doles out advice, she did dish what she thinks is the key to her 50-year marriage.

"It's mutual respect -- and having things in common, that's always good, too," she said. "Carl and I always had lots of things in common enough to make it fun, our personal time, but enough different in what we do where it's interesting to hear about what the other is involved in.

RELATED: Dolly Parton through the years

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Dolly Parton throughout the years
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Dolly Parton throughout the years
20th May 1977: Country music queen Dolly Parton is back in London after performing at the King's Theatre, Glasgow, at a Scottish Royal Jubilee Television Special in the presence of the Queen, she now commences on a tour of Britain and the continent. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
UNDATED FILE PHOTO: Singer Dolly Parton. (photo by Newsmakers)
NASHVILLE, : Dolly Parton (R) performs with Alison Krauss (L) during the 75th Birthday for country music's Grand Ole Opry 14 October 2000 in Nashville, Tennessee. Several country music stars showed up to help celebrate the event. AFP PHOTO/Neil BRAKE (Photo credit should read NEIL BRAKE/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - FEBRUARY 16: American country and western singer Dolly Parton poses 16 February 2001, during the launch of her new album 'Little Arrow' in a London record store. (Photo credit should read HUGO PHILPOT/AFP/Getty Images)
Dolly Parton performed with Brad Paisley at the 43rd Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center, Los Angeles, Ca. 2/21/01. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Dolly Parton accepting at the Songwriters Hall of Fame 32nd Annual Awards at Sheraton New York Hotel and Towers in New York City. June 14, 2001. Photo: Scott Gries/ImageDirect
NEW YORK - JULY 5: Singer Dolly Parton performs for the 'NBC Today Show Summer Concert Series' at Rockefeller Center July 5, 2002 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 7: Country Singer Dolly Parton performs at the House of Blues on August 7, 2002 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images)
LONDON - OCTOBER 8: Singer Dolly Parton poses for photographers on October 8, 2002 at the Oxford Street HMV store in London, England. Parton was at the store to sign copies of her recently released album, 'Halos and Horns,' which includes a cover of Led Zeppelin's 'Stairway to Heaven.' (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - OCTOBER 15: Singer Dolly Parton poses for a photograph prior to the Tennessee Film & Music Commission's industry reception at the W Hotel on October 15, 2002 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images)
BURBANK, CA - OCTOBER 9: Singer Dolly Parton appears on 'The Tonight Show with Jay Leno' at the NBC Studios on October 9, 2003 in Burbank, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - FEBRUARY 15: Singer Dolly Parton (L) and actress/singer Reba McEntire appear on the set of The WB's 'Reba' at 20th Century Fox Studios on February 15, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MARCH 4: Singer Dolly Parton performs at the Weinstein Co. Pre-Oscar Party at the Pacific Design Center on March 4, 2006 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - MARCH 5: Singer Dolly Parton arrives at the 78th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre March 5, 2006 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - OCTOBER 26: Singer Dolly Parton performs at the Country Music Television's CMT Giants honoring Reba McEntire at the Kodak Theatre on October 26, 2006 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
US country music singer Dolly Parton performs onstage in London as part of her 'Backwoods Barbie' world tour, on July 5, 2008. The tour will see her promoting the self-released album with concerts across the world. AFP PHOTO/Leon Neal (Photo credit should read Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - JUNE 08: Musician Marty Stuart and singer Dolly Parton perform during Marty Stuart's 10th Annual Late Night Jam at the Ryman Auditorium on June 8, 2011 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 10: Dolly Parton talks to the media at a press conference at the InterContinental Sydney on November 10, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JANUARY 09: Actress Dolly Parton arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. Pictures' 'Joyful Noise' held at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on January 9, 2012 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)
RANCHO MIRAGE, CA - JANUARY 24: Singer Dolly Parton Performs at Agua Caliente Casino on January 24, 2014 in Rancho Mirage, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 18: Stella Parton and Dolly Parton attend Stella Parton's Red Tent Women's Conference 2014 at the Doubletree Hotel Downtown on April 18, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 27: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Dolly Parton performs on QVC Presents, Dolly Parton Q Sessions Live from Nashville - Featuring 'Blue Smoke' Dolly Parton rehearses at NorthStar Studios on April 27, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Webster PR)
NASHVILLE, TN - APRIL 27: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Dolly Parton performs during Dolly Parton Q Sessions featuring 'Blue Smoke' QVC Presents A Night In Nashville With Dolly Parton - Show at NorthStar Studios on April 27, 2014 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images for Webster PR)
KNOXVILLE, TN - MAY 28: Dolly Parton performs during a concert to benefit Dolly's Imagination Library & Dr. Robert F. Thomas Foundation at The University of Tennessee's Thompson-boling Arena on May 28, 2014 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Rick Diamond/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 13: Dolly Parton performs on NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza on May 13, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
US country music singer Dolly Parton performs on the Pyramid Stage, on the final day of the Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts on Worthy Farm in Somerset, southwest England, on June 29, 2014. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
Richie Sambora of US rock group Bon Jovi joins US singer Dolly Parton on the Pyramid Stage, on the final day of the Glastonbury Festival of Music and Performing Arts on Worthy Farm in Somerset, southwest England, on June 29, 2014. AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read LEON NEAL/AFP/Getty Images)
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In addition to touching songs about her own experience, Parton drew from the love lives of her close friends and family, who she knows "can't express for themselves."

"I'm Sixteen," one of Parton's favorite new songs from the album, is inspired by one of her sisters, who "had a couple of bad marriages."

"She just picked a couple of bad guys, so she was so heartbroken and thought she'd never love again -- And then all of a sudden, she met someone who had been through a similar thing and they are so happy like two little teenagers. My other sisters and I laugh because they're acting like they're 16," she said.

SEE ALSO: Dolly Parton's tour bus has an entire section for outfits and wigs

"I'm Sixteen" might even describe Parton herself, whose tenacity and motivation show no signs of slowing down at age 70.

"I just love what I do," she explained. "It was always the art to me. I love being creative. I love writing the songs. I love singing them, I love to perform, and I love people. I'm a very energetic person. I need to have something wonderful and creative to channel my energy. The creativity is what keeps me young and what keeps me good at it, and what keeps me motivated."

As for her longevity in Nashville and beyond, Parton chalks it up to her "Southern being," her spirituality and her down-home nature.

"Well, I think just being always continuously on the job. I never really thought of myself as a star. I always think of myself as a working girl. It's a way of life for me. I just really love what I do. And I think just the fact that I kept my mind on my business and never strayed. I always know what it is I can and can't do, and what I will and won't do.

Despite holding scores of country music chart records, countless music awards and having been inducted into every Hall of Fame imaginable, Parton still has a few major milestones she'd like to get under her belt.

"I want to make great movies. I'd like to do more movies. I'd still love to do my life story as a Broadway musical, and I want to do some TV. I might even tape a series next year. I just want to continue to keep the dreams that are in motion and keep them alive. It's a lot of work but I love it. I never know what I'm going to be making tomorrow," she said.

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