Dolly Parton rejects proposed statue of her at Tennessee Capitol: "I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time"

Dolly Parton has turned down yet another accolade offered to her — this time, from her home state of Tennessee. In a statement, Parton said she asked lawmakers not to consider a bill that would allow a statue of her to be built on the grounds of the state’s Capitol. This comes just weeks after the country superstar revealed that she turned down the Presidential Medal of Freedom, twice.

“I want to thank the Tennessee legislature for their consideration of a bill to erect a statue of me on the Capitol grounds,” Parton’s statement, shared on her social media pages, reads. “I am honored and humbled by their intention but I have asked the leaders of the state legislature to remove the bill from any and all consideration.”

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The bill, introduced by State Representative John Mark Windle, was passed by a state House committee February 9. However, if Parton has her way, it won’t go any further.

“Given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time,” Parton’s statement continued. “I hope, though, that somewhere down the road several years from now or perhaps after I’m gone if you still feel I deserve it, then I’m certain I will stand proud in our great State Capitol as a grateful Tennessean.”

The bill’s introduction comes after an online petition was created last year to urge the Tennessee State House to replace Confederate statues in the state with statues of Parton. “Aside from her beautiful music, which has touched the hearts and lives of millions of Americans, Dolly Parton’s philanthropic heart has unquestionably changed the world for the better,” the petition reads.

Parton created The Dollywood Foundation in 1988, which focuses on literacy and education in her home county of Sevier County, Tennessee. And her giving has recently gone global. In November, it was revealed that she helped fund research for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Moderna.

The music icon and philanthropist made a $1 million contribution toward coronavirus research efforts at Vanderbilt University in April.

While Parton has done a lot for her home state — and the world — she has remained humble and has turned down accolades for her work. 

During an interview with NBC’s “Today” earlier this month, Parton revealed she was offered the Presidential Medial of Freedom by the Trump administration twice. “I couldn’t accept it because my husband was ill. Then they asked me again about it and I wouldn’t travel because of the COVID.” 

“Now I feel like if I take it, I’ll be doing politics, so I’m not sure,” she said, adding that she’s not even sure if she deserves it. 

Parton concluded her statement about the Tennessee statue by saying she will “continue to try to do good work to make this great state proud.” 

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