Campaign under way for Dolly Parton statue at state capitol

Dolly Parton; Music
Dolly Parton

A statue of country music icon Dolly Parton could be added to the Capitol grounds in Nashville, Tennessee, if one state politician gets his way.

Democratic Representative John Mark Windle introduced a bill on Tuesday designed to honour Ms Parton “for all that she has contributed to this state”, news outlets reported.

Aside from her status as a music icon, Ms Parton is a lifelong philanthropist. She founded the Imagination Library, which sends books to children under the age of five across the world to improve child literacy, and her million-dollar donation to Vanderbilt University helped develop the highly effective Moderna coronavirus vaccine. Her advocacy for racial justice was recently celebrated in a mural in Nashville.

Mr Windle said the state capitol commission would invite input to develop a plan for the statue, including its design, and said it should face towards the Ryman Auditorium, where she sometimes performs.

No taxpayer money would be spent according to the bill, which would create a fund for private gifts, grants and donations to pay for the statue.

“At this point in history, is there a better example, not just in America but in the world, of a leader that is (a) kind, decent, passionate human being?” Mr Windle said on Wednesday.

“(She’s) a passionate person who loves everyone, and everyone loves her.”

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