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Don’t put me on a pedestal – Dolly Parton knocks back statue offer

Dolly Parton has said thanks, but no thanks, to a Tennessee state offer to build a statue in her honour.

A Tennessee politician came up with the idea earlier this year, as a tribute to the singer for her contributions to the state.

There was even an online petition to build support for the tribute to the 75-year-old country singer – and a wider push to replace statues of Confederate-era heroes who have fallen from grace.

“Aside from her beautiful music, which has touched the hearts and lives of millions of Americans, Dolly Parton’s philanthropic heart has unquestionably changed the world for the better,” the petition read.

Parton’s statue would have been installed on the grounds of the state Capitol and faced Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, a venue that has become “something of a second home” for Parton.

But she said a firm no.

“I am honoured and humbled by their intention but I have asked the leaders of the state legislature to remove the bill from any and all consideration,” the singer said in a statement on social media.

“Given all that’s going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time.”

Parton, who lives just outside Nashville, is a known philanthropist. Many of her donations are made anonymously and her favourite causes include literacy and the environment.

In 2020, she made headlines for donating $US1 million ($A1.4 million) to the Vanderbilt Medical Centre in Nashville.

The centre was a trial site for the Moderna coronavirus vaccine, and some of her cash was used to fund an early stage of the trial of the now-successful jab.

Fans shouldn’t worry though. Parton hasn’t ruled out accepting such an honour entirely.

“I hope, though, that somewhere down the road several years from now or perhaps after I’m gone if you still feel I deserve it, then I’m certain I will stand proud in our great state capitol as a grateful Tennessean,” she wrote.

The push to replace statures of former slave traders, colonialists and other Confederate figures in the state has grown after the death in May 2020 of George Floyd.

Mr Floyd died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes. His death sparked outrage and violent protests across the US.

Some of the action focused on monuments glorifying the countries’ white-dominated past. In many American cities, statues linked to the Civil War and the slave trade were destroyed.



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