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US lawmaker wants statue of country music icon Dolly Parton at Tennessee Capitol

A statue of country music icon Dolly Parton could be added to the Capitol grounds in Nashville, Tennessee, if one state lawmaker gets his way.

Dolly Parton. Source: Getty

Democratic Representative John Mark Windle introduced a bill on Wednesday that aims to honor Parton "for all that she has contributed to this state", news outlets reported.

Aside from her status as a music icon, Parton is a lifelong philanthropist.

She founded the Imagination Library, which mails books to children under the age of 5 across the world to improve child literacy, and her million-dollar donation to Vanderbilt University helped develop the highly effective Moderna coronavirus vaccine.

Her advocacy for racial justice was recently celebrated in a mural in Nashville. 

Windle said the state capitol commission would solicit input to develop a plan for the statue, including its design, and he said it should face toward the Ryman Auditorium, where she sometimes performs.

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Dolly is releasing a new book this week. Source: Seven Sharp

No taxpayer dollars would be spent according to the bill, which would create a fund for private gifts, grants and donations to pay for the statue.

"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.

"[She's] a passionate person who loves everyone, and everyone loves her."