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Dolly Parton says she doesn't 'want to be worshiped' after being named one of People's People of the Year 2021
Dolly Parton has once again been seleted for a major honor — and she's once again responding to it in the most humble way possible.
People magazine on Wednesday revealed its picks for 2021 People of the Year: country music star Dolly Parton, actress Sandra Oh, gymnast Simone Biles, and "our nation's teachers." In explaining the picks, the magazine highlighted Parton's philanthropy, including her work to donate books to children through her Imagination Library project, as well as her $1 million donation to Vanderbilt University that helped fund research that led to Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine.
Speaking with People, though, Parton said she was "a little bit skeptical of being put on the cover as one of the People of the Year," insisting she's "not all that" even though she's "glad that I stand for enough stuff to where I'm not the worst person in the world." She added, "I don't want to be worshiped, because there's a scripture in my Bible that talks about idol worship. And I see that happening all the time with movie stars and these celebrities. People literally worship them more than they worship God. And I just — I cringe at it sometimes."
Parton previously said she wasn't sure "that I even deserve" the Presidential Medal of Freedom after turning it down two different times. And in February, she asked the state of Tennessee not to erect a statue of her on Capitol grounds, even though lawmakers were pushing to do so. "Given all that is going on in the world, I don't think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time," she said.
Despite her humble skepticism about being picked, though, Parton told People that "if I can set an example, then that's great," and speaking about her philanthropy, she described herself as being "addicted to the feeling of giving" and "knowing that I'm doing something good for someone else."