Country music legend Dolly Parton has turned down the offer of a memorial statue in her native Tennessee, saying she doesn’t want to be ‘put on a pedestal’.
In a statement released on Twitter, Parton - who will be a guest on this week's The Late Late Show on RTÉ One - asked Tennessee lawmakers to withdraw a bill that would see a statue of her erected on the capitol grounds in Nashville.
She said: "Given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time."
The bill was introduced last month by John Mark Windle, a Democratic state representative, to honour "all that [Parton] has contributed to this state".
Speaking in support of the statue, Windle says: "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? [She’s] a passionate person who loves everyone, and everyone loves her."
75-year-old Parton’ support for the Black Lives Matter movement was recently celebrated in a mural in Nashville. And just last year she donated $1m to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, which helped fund research crucial to developing Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.
In her statement, Parton said she was "honoured and humbled by their intention" of a statue in tribute to her.
She added: "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."
Earlier this month, the singer-songwriter also revealed she turned down the Presidential Medal of Freedom from the Trump administration - and not just once, but twice.