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Country music singer Dolly Parton smiles during the National Press Club luncheon in Washington D.C., March 23, 2000. Parton announced today that she is donating $7 million to help fund the expansion of her Dollywood Foundation’s Imagination Library reading program for children. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Others compared her favorably to publicity-hungry celebs of today. One tweet said, “Dolly, At a time when way too many celebrities think they’re more important than the rest of us, there YOU are – one of us! While some other celebrities do good work, little YOU are the giant, the standard-bearer & the example that others will be measured against for generations!”, while another user commented: “Yall I had follow Dolly Parton. She been getting right and the least I can do is celebrate her now and hope other celebrities follow in her footsteps when such events like this arise.” Another tweet echoed this stating “If only other celebrities could take a note from Dolly’s playbook!”
A mural created by Nashville based artist Kim Radford is seen on August 19, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. The mural is painted on the wall outside of The 5 Spot, a music venue in East Nashville. (Getty Images)
But among all the love for all, there was a significant number of people who wanted to worship her more precisely because she was refusing the honor. What’s more, they wanted her statues to replace confederacy statues because she truly ‘represented’ the South. One user wrote: “Dolly: Don’t put me on a pedestal. Me: *puts away world’s largest pedestal*. Someday, Dolly.” and then added in another tweet: “Also, replace every single confederate statue, and if you can’t think of a local historical POC, abolitionist, voting rights, civil rights, or LGBT rights hero (try harder), then you can use Dolly.”
Another tweet remarked: “Dolly is the true spirit of the south. Replace all confederate statues with Dolly!”, while one user said: “Update on what should replace all confederate statues bc they’re more relevant and didn’t enslave millions of people: Dolly Parton statues”.
John Mark Windle, a Democratic state representative, had introduced the bill in January to honor Parton “for all that she has contributed to this state” by erecting the statue for her.
Parton is a lifelong philanthropist. She founded the Imagination Library, which mails books to children under the age of five across the world to improve child literacy, and her recent 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.