Dolly Parton Doesn’t Want a Proposed Statue of Her to Go Up at the Tennessee Capitol ‘Given All That Is Going on in the World’

But the singer's not opposed to a monument after she’s gone. 

Dolly Parton performs, circa 1975, Los Angeles, California. Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.
Dolly Parton performs, circa 1975, Los Angeles, California. Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.

Dolly Parton has asked the Tennessee legislature to halt an effort to erect a statue of her on the grounds of the state’s Capitol.

A Republican state senator proposed replacing a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and the first Grand Wizard in the Ku Klux Klan, with one of the country star. But Parton has asked that they remove the bill from consideration.

“I am honored and humbled by their intention,” the singer-songwriter wrote in a statement yesterday. But, she added, “given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time.”

A bipartisan group of Tennessee state senators supports the bill, which was introduced by Republican Jeremy Faison. A committee passed it on February 11.

Parton said that she was open to the acknowledgement in the future. “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 said in the statement.

For now, she says, the country singer-songwriter will “continue to try to do good work to make this great state proud.”

Charities founded by the multi-platinum recording artist, including the Dollywood Foundation and the My People Fund, distribute scholarships and books and support nonprofit organizations that help the needy in Tennessee.

Forrest, a wealthy plantation owner who made his fortune as a slave trader, played a prominent role in a notorious massacre of surrendered black Union soldiers in 1864.

Faison did not immediately respond to requests for comment. He has, however, told TMZ that he appreciated Parton’s statement and believed his colleagues would vote the bill down accordingly.

He also floated the name of suffragist Anne Dallas Dudley, who founded the Nashville Equal Suffrage League, as a potential replacement for the statue.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share