Dolly Parton is an undisputed country queen but has always enjoyed widespread appeal. It is support she is now returning with her embrace of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Parton is featured on the latest Billboard cover and didn’t mince words about the global uprising that happened after George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.
“I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen,” said Parton. “And of course, Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!”
Fellow country superstars Lady Antebellum, now Lady A, and the Dixie Chicks, now The Chicks, changed their names from Confederate-themed monikers in response to Black Lives Matter’s cultural rejuvenation. Parton heeded the need to become more culturally aware a few years ago.
In 2017, she was criticized for romanticizing the War Between the States through her Dixie Stampede. The Civil War-themed dinner never once mentioned slavery and instead left it to audiences to choose whether the North or South was in the right.
Parton made amends the following year when she rebranded her dinner attraction as Dolly Parton’s Stampede after acknowledging how loaded the term ‘Dixie’ was.
“There’s such a thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that,” she told the outlet.
“When they said ‘Dixie’ was an offensive word, I thought, ‘Well, I don’t want to offend anybody. This is a business. We’ll just call it ‘The Stampede.’ As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don’t be a dumbass. That’s where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.”
The singer/songwriter behind the hits “Jolene,” “9 to 5,” and “I Will Always Love You” which Whitney Houston memorably turned into one of the best-selling classics of all time, says it’s not her place to look down on anyone. She wants to just do her part.
“First of all, I’m not a judgmental person. I do believe we all have a right to be exactly who we are, and it is not my place to judge,” she said.
“All these good Christian people that are supposed to be such good Christian people, the last thing we’re supposed to do is to judge one another. God is the judge, not us. I just try to be myself. I try to let everybody else be themselves.”
The 74-year-old icon is in awe that so many are still invested in her after all these years.
“I’m touched and honored that I’m still around and that I’m able to still be important in the business,” she says. “I honestly feel like I’m just getting started. I know that sounds crazy but I really feel like I might have a big music career, record career. Who knows?”
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