Tennessee Lawmaker Proposes Dolly Parton Statue at State Capitol
The Tennessee state Capitol may soon be graced with a statue of Dolly Parton. According to the Associated Press, Democratic…
Dolly Parton; Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
The Tennessee state Capitol may soon be graced with a statue of Dolly Parton.
According to the Associated Press, Democratic Rep. John Mark Windle introduced a bill earlier this week with hopes to bring a statue of Parton to the Capitol to honor the entertainment icon “for all that she has contributed to this state.”
If approved, the statue would face the Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry and a venue that Parton has performed at numerous times throughout her career.
“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?” Windle said on Wednesday (Jan.13) . ”(She’s) a passionate person who loves everyone, and everyone loves her.”
According to reports, the new legislation states that no taxpayer dollars would be used for the statue: “An account would be established within the state general fund, known as the Dolly Parton Fund, for the design, construction, installation and maintenance of the statue.” Funds would be generated via gifts, grants and private donations.
Dolly Parton, a native of East Tennesee, is well-known for her music, but also her life-long philanthropy. She has gifted millions of books to children around the world through her Imagination Library program and last year, she donated $1 million to help fund research for the Moderna coronavirus vaccine. In 2016, she helped create the My People fund to assist Tennessee residents who lost their homes and livelihoods in fires that raged near Gatlinburg, resulting in millions of dollars in donations.
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 Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. 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.