Today, January 19, beloved singer and humanitarian Dolly Parton celebrates her 75th birthday!

From reading bedtime stories using books from Imagination Library, her program that mails free books to children, to standing in support of #BlackLivesMatter and contributing to COVID-19 vaccine research, and writing some of the most memorable songs of all time, this country pop star has become empire.

Concurrent with Dolly’s birthday celebrations, Tennessee Rep. John Mark Windle proposed erecting a statue of Parton that will sit on the state Capitol grounds “to recognize her for all she has contributed to this state.” If it’s commissioned, the Parton sculpture will face the historic Ryman Auditorium, a music venue where she’s performed throughout her career.

While the Southern native has not commented on the proposal, to feel Parton’s love for her home state, one only has to listen to the lyrics of her 1973 classic about her rural upbringing in “My Tennessee Mountain Home”: “In my Tennessee mountain home / Life is as peaceful as a baby’s sigh / In my Tennessee mountain home / Crickets sing in the fields nearby.”

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Photo: Kris Harris King