The proposed statue would be financed by gifts, grants and other donations, and handled via the Dolly Parton Fund, a separate account within the state's general fund, according to the House Bill 135.
Should it get the go-ahead, the statue would be located on the Capitol grounds, facing in the direction of Ryman Auditorium.
More than 25,000 people signed a Change.org petition to replace one of the many statues of Confederate officers littering the state with one immortalizing a “true Tennessee hero," Dolly Parton.
“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,” wrote Alex Parsons, who started the petition.
“From the Dollywood foundation that has provided books and scholarships to millions of American children, to the millions of dollars she has donated to dozens of organizations such as the Red Cross and COVID-19 research centers, Dolly Parton has given more to this country and this state than those confederate officers could ever have hoped to take away.”
The petition called on decision-makers to “replace the statues of men who sought to tear this country apart with a monument to the woman who has worked her entire life to bring us closer together.”
Dolly is as generous as she is prolific at writing songs (she is reported to have composed at least 5,000 works). Last year, Parton donated $1 million that helped lead to the discovery of a COVID-19 vaccine, and in 2016 raised $9 million for Tennessee wildfire relief.