Dolly Parton says she refused to do a naked photo shoot for her 1978 Playboy cover

Dolly Parton says she refused to do a naked photo shoot for her 1978 Playboy cover
Dolly Parton's Rockstar VIP Album Release Party With American Greetings in November 2023.
Dolly PartonJason Kempin/Getty Images
  • Dolly Parton tells Business Insider she didn't want to do a naked cover shoot for Playboy in 1978.

  • Parton wrote in her latest book "Behind the Seams," that she was nervous about being on the cover.

  • Parton agreed to do it on the condition she was fully clothed.

Dolly Parton says she was completely comfortable posing on the cover of Playboy magazine in 1978, but only if she could be fully clothed.

Parton became the first-ever county star to appear on the cover of the men's magazine. For the cover shoot, she dressed up like the Playboy bunny, wearing a black bustier, black bunny ears, and a dazzling white bow tie connected to a pink collar.

Dolly Parton dresses up as the Playboy bunny for her 1978 cover shoot.
Dolly Parton dresses up as the Playboy bunny for her 1978 cover shoot.Harry Langdon / Getty Images

In her latest book "Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhimestones," published in October 2023, Parton said she was initially nervous about appearing in the men's magazine.

"I wasn't comfortable doing that cover, but they just wouldn't hush until I did a cover for Playboy," she wrote, without specifying who was hounding her.

Now, Parton tells Business Insider that she was hesitant because she didn't want to do a nude shoot.

"I was comfortable doing the cover," Parton says. "I was not going to do any of the layouts, the nudity and all that."

"I always have to feel in my gut what I can and can't do, what I will and won't do. And I was never going to do the spreads, if you pardon the expression," Parton continues.

Parton tells BI that she agreed to the cover to support her transition into acting and the pop music industry.

"That was a good choice I made," she says. "I became kind of famous for that little book. I sign a whole lot of the Playboy books."

During her Playboy cover interview in 1978, Parton said she didn't want to do a naked photo shoot because she was worried about how her fans would react.

"It might not offend me, but I was afraid maybe a lot of my country fans and some of the people who love me who are of a religious nature might not understand," she said.

Parton said she eventually realized that Playboy fit her brand since, at the time, she was criticized for her bold outfits.

"And I mean, who else but Dolly Parton should be on the cover of PLAYBOY? If you wanted an outrageous person to be an outrageous magazine cover, who else?" she said.

In 2021, Parton recreated the iconic cover as a birthday gift to her husband, Carl Dean.

Parton said in a video post on Instagram that she wanted to appear in Playboy again when she turned 75, but the magazine shut down in 2020. So she organized her own photo shoot.

"My husband always loved the original cover," Parton said, wearing the black bustier and bunny ears. "He still thinks I'm a hot chick after 57 years, and I'm not gonna try and talk him out of that."

Parton announced earlier this week that she was extending her partnership with the dessert brand Duncan Hines and its parent company, Conagra Brands.

Parton has five new dessert mixes, with Duncan Hines set to hit stores this month. She also collaborated with Conagra to introduce a buttermilk pancake mix, which will be available later this year.

"People say, 'Why are you selling cakes and pies?' And I think, 'Because I can and it's good,'" says Parton, who spoke to BI to promote the new mixes. "No matter what you cooking, you're going to always want something sweet to eat after it."

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