Dolly Parton has ''never once'' thought of retiring.

The '9 To 5' hitmaker insists she has no plans to give up her career any time soon and she feels so ''grateful'' that she still gets to perform.

She said: ''There's a whole lot to be said for loving your work and having confidence in yourself. I never once thought of retiring ...

''It'll happen when it happens. That's how I feel. I am grateful that I am still here. So many people have more talent than I've ever dreamed of having that never get to see dreams come true.''

However, Dolly would give up her career in a heartbeat if her husband Carl Thomas Dean needed her.

She told People magazine: ''If my husband needed me, or someone in my family, I would put him first. I've always put myself first and my career first, but if something were to happen to him, I would pull back on that. I'd still find a way to work, still find a way to be productive. I just hope I fall dead in the middle of a song, hopefully one I wrote, right on stage. That's the way I go!''

Meanwhile, the 72-year-old singer previously insisted she wants to continue performing for as long as she can.

Asked if she'd ever go into retirement, Dolly said: ''I don't know what in the world I would do, I don't even know what that word 'retire' means. I'd only do that if my husband was ill and needed me to be there, or if I was too sick to go on. And then I would still be writing songs, coming up with business ideas, being on the phone, creating. That old saying, 'I'd rather wear out that rust out', I think I would rust out pretty quickly if I wasn't busy.''