New Tennessee Bill Looks to Place Statue of Dolly Parton on State Capitol Grounds

by Madison Miller

Legendary country artist and cultural icon, Dolly Parton, may be making a new public appearance very soon.

It won’t actually be her, though.

Dolly Parton in Statue Form

Tennessee state lawmakers are looking to introduce a new bill that would allow a statue of Dolly Parton to go on the ground of the Capitol in Nashville.

According to WKRN, the proposition is called House Bill 135 and it was proposed yesterday by Representative John Mark Windle. He represents Fentress, Morgan, and Overton counties. The goal is to place the statue on Capitol grounds with Parton’s smiling face gazing directly in the direction of Ryman Auditorium.

This is a popular venue for concerts in Nashville. The last time Parton played there was for a “Gift of Music’ charity concert. This was on January 30, 2020. Lee Greenwood, Lonestar, Collin Raye, and others joined her. According to the Tennessean, the proceeds from the event went to W.O. Smith Music School and Scott Hamilton CARES Foundation.

She closed out her set by singing the epic love song, “I Will Always Love You.”

It seems like Windle and the entire city of Nashville are trying to say the same thing by proposing to build this everlasting statue of Parton.

“The state capitol commission, at regularly scheduled meetings, shall develop and implement a plan for the commissioning of a statue of Dolly Parton, to recognize her for all that she has contributed to this state,” the bill reads.

The bill allows for both the public and others to develop the plan and the design of the statue. There would be an account, the Dolly Parton Fund, that allows for design, construction, and installation.

Previous Discussions for Parton Statue

This is not the first time the concept for creating and installing a Dolly Parton statue has come up.

In fact, in June people were calling for Parton to replace an old Confederate memorial. All around the country cities are tearing down Confederate memorials and statues.

The goal was to find a person who is the opposite of hateful and oppressive. For many, Dolly Parton was that beacon of light.

An online petition was formed calling for the Tennessee governor and other legislators to replace Confederate soldier statues with Parton. It has gathered more than 25,000 signatures.

“Tennessee is littered with statues memorializing Confederate officers … History should not be forgotten, but we need not glamorize those who do not deserve our praise. Instead, let us honor a true Tennessee hero, Dolly Parton,” the petition reads.

Earlier in December, a Republican legislator asked to replace the statue of a slave trader and leader of the Ku Klux Klan, Nathan Bedford Forrest, with a Parton statue. The proposal was denied. It left some legislators saddened and angry.

Parton seems to be the one person everyone in Tennessee loves and adores. She is an advocate for women’s health care, children’s literacy, and other philanthropic efforts.

Parton has not responded to the efforts to immortalize her forever in the form of a Capitol statue. However, she has certainly been in hot demand for the role in the past few years.

H/T: The New York Times, Tennessean