In June 2020, a petition called for Tennessee’s racist monuments to be replaced with a statue of Dolly Parton, “a true Tennessee hero”. Now, a Tennessee lawmaker has backed a dedication for the country music legend, proposing a statue in the grounds of her home state’s Capitol.
The bill introduced by Democratic Rep. John Mark Windle on Tuesday (January 13) aims to honour Parton for “all that she has contributed to this state”. The Nashville statue, it adds, would be financed with gifts, grants, and other donations, handled by a dedicated Dolly Parton Fund.
Besides her prolific musical output, Parton has long been recognised for her philanthropy. Her Imagination Library program sends books across the world to help improve children’s literacy, while her $1 million donation to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center helped fund a COVID-19 vaccine.
“Dolly Parton's philanthropic heart has unquestionably changed the world for the better,” writes Alex Parsons, founder of the June petition, which has amassed over 25,000 signatures. “Dolly Parton has given more to this country and this state than those confederate officers could ever have hoped to take away. Let's replace the statues of men who sought to tear this country apart with a monument to the woman who has worked her entire life to bring us closer together.”
Earlier this month, it was revealed that Parton’s iconic status has also earned her multiple invitations for a guest slot on RuPaul’sDrag Race, though she’s turned several down over the last decade, due to scheduling conflicts.