When life is good again: Dolly Parton politely declines offer from home city to erect statue in her honour

Friday, February 19
Ciarán Mather

Legendary country singer and media personality Dolly Parton has declined an offer from the city of Nashville to erect a statue in her honour.

The proposal of the statue was introduced by John Mark Windle, a Democratic state representative in Tennessee, introduced the bill last month that aims to honour the Jolene and 9 to 5 singer 'for all that she has contributed to this state.'

He further praised Parton for being a 'kind, decent, passionate human being.'

The 75-year-old explained her reason for turning down the offer in a recent Twitter statement, accompanied with a red love heart: 'Given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time.'

However, she added that she would be honoured to have a statue erected in her memory in the future, saying: '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.'

Dolly Parton is well-known for her charitable works in addition to her phenomenal musical and entertaining talent. 

The singer founded the Imagination Library, which mails books to children under the age of five across the world to improve child literacy. 

She is also a known advocate for racial justice, which was recently celebrated with a mural in Nashville.

In addition, she notably donated $1 million last April in order to help in the research and development of the Moderna vaccine against COVID-19.

Parton had previously twice turned down the highest US' civilian honour when then-President Donald Trump offered it to her: the first time she declined was because she was busy taking care of her ill husband, and the second time she avoided doing so was due to a fear of contracting COVID-19 while travelling to receive the award.

She admitted that she is not sure whether she would accept it from Biden either, because 'it might seem [too] political to do so.'

Regardless of what action she takes with the statue in the future, it's safe to say that Nashville will always love her.

Parton is set to appear as a guest on tonight's Late Late Show, alongside Bee-Gees singer Barry Gibb, whom she has recorded an upcoming album with, and Eve Hewson, daughter of U2's lead singer Bono.