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Dolly Parton asks Tennessee lawmakers not to erect statue of her

The country music icon said the timing for a statue of her on Capitol grounds isn't quite right but is open to exploring the idea down the road.
/ Source: TODAY

Dolly Parton has asked state legislators in Tennessee to remove a proposed bill that would create a statue in her honor at the state Capitol. Why? She believes there are bigger issues to address.

"I want to thank the Tennessee legislature for their consideration of a bill to erect a statue of me on the Capitol grounds," the 77-year-old country music icon said in a statement shared Thursday on her Twitter. "I am honored and humbled by their intention but I have asked the leaders of the state legislature to remove the bill from any and all consideration.

"Given all that is going on in the world, I don't think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time."

Parton next explained that in the future, if people still feel she is deserving of such a tribute, lawmakers can follow through with their plans.

"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," she wrote.

In January, Democratic state Rep. John Mark Windle introduced a bill that would place a statue of Parton on the Capitol grounds facing in the direction of the Ryman Auditorium, a former home of the Grand Ole Opry.

"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 at the time according to the AP. "(She’s) a passionate person who loves everyone, and everyone loves her."

On Feb. 9, the bill passed Tennessee's House naming committee with unanimous support. It was on its way to the state government committee for consideration before Parton publicly axed it.

This also isn't the first honor the "Jolene" singer has turned down. On TODAY, she revealed she had turned down the Presidential Medal of Freedom not once but twice.

For now, Parton said she is going to keep doing what she does best: work. She concluded her statement Thursday, saying, "In the meantime, I'll continue to try to do good work to make this great state proud."

For the country music fans out there disappointed they won't see her likeness cast in bronze: A statue of her that debuted in 1987 lives in the heart of Sevierville, Tennessee, her hometown. Parton can be seen strumming a guitar while sitting on a rock, smiling proud and bright in true Dolly fashion.