Dolly Parton Named 2020 Tennessean of the Year by Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame

She’s no athlete, but that didn’t stop the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame from awarding Dolly Parton with the honor…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

May 4, 2020


10:02 am

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Dolly Parton; Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

She’s no athlete, but that didn’t stop the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame from awarding Dolly Parton with the honor of 2020 Tennessean of the Year.

The legendary entertainer will be presented with the award at the Hall of Fame’s annual induction on Aug. 1, 2020 at the Omni Nashville Hotel.

According to a press release, The Tennessean of the Year honor “recognizes an individual or organization that has made significant contributions to society through sports or other methods, demonstrating strong character and high-profile leadership.” Previous recipients include former Vice President Albert Gore, Jr., 47th Tennessee Governor Don Sundquist, the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) and Gaylord Entertainment Company.

“This will come as a shock to most of you, but I’m not very athletic. Ha ha,” Parton quipped. “I just couldn’t find tennis shoes, cleats, or blades with five-inch heels, so I gave up and settled for music. Seriously, I have always been a proud Tennessee girl and have supported all our athletics through the years; so, of course, I’m thrilled to be honored by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame.”

Parton is being recognized as the 2020 Tennessean of the Year for leaving a mark on the music industry and for her incredible philanthropic work in Tennessee and beyond. The 10-time Grammy winner will be honored alongside Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry, who was named the Pro Athlete of the Year for 2020.

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.