Tennessee will always love Dolly Parton if one state lawmaker gets his way.
State Rep. John Windle, a Democrat, filed a bill on Wednesday proposing that the country music legend receive a statue at the state Capitol in Nashville.
Celebrating his shared connection to Parton as “hillbillies,” Windle said that the Tennessee native deserved the honor for being universally loved.
“At this point in history, is there a better example, not just in America but in the world, of a leader that is kind, decent, passionate human being?” he asked. “[She’s] a passionate person who loves everyone, and everyone loves her.”
Tennessee’s population growth, in which the Volunteer State saw a rush of 540,000 new residents moving to the state over the past decade, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, is fueled in part by people such as Parton, said Windle.
“The influx of people that have moved to Tennessee in the last several years is directly related to the kind, compassionate nature of Tennesseans, and she is the perfect example of that,” he said. “She has contributed so much and sacrificed so much of her time to so many great causes.”
If passed, the bill would create a “Dolly Parton fund” to finance the construction, establishment, and maintenance of the artistic tribute. It would also allow the public and “other interested parties” to partake in the statue’s design.
The country star’s philanthropy has spanned decades. Most recently, Parton’s contribution of $1 million to COVID-19 research at Vanderbilt University in April helped fund the creation of the Moderna vaccine, which is found to be 94.5% effective against the coronavirus.
“Praise the Lord!” Parton said in response to the news at the time.
A representative for CTK Management, which represents Parton, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.