These days, it seems like nobody can agree on anything. Social media is a dumpster fire of people arguing back and forth, and then you turn on the news and it’s even worse.
But there’s at least one thing we can all agree on:
Dolly Parton is a national treasure.
I mean, is there a more universally beloved woman in America than Dolly? Think about it for a minute: Who else in the country is loved by both men and women, old and young, Democrat and Republican, city slickers and country folks alike? And in these dark times, it seems like Dolly is the one person who can unite all of us and shine bright through the chaos.
Of course, that’s nothing new. Our country has been in love with Dolly Parton since she burst on the scene alongside the legendary Porter Wagoner in the 1960s. From her humble childhood in a one-room cabin in the Great Smokey Mountains of Tennessee to becoming one of the biggest superstars in the world, Dolly has captivated us since the beginning.
But unlike most superstars, who either fade away as time goes on or self-destruct from the spotlight of fame, Dolly has only managed to captivate us even more with age. People love Dolly now more than they ever have – and for good reason.
Just look at what Dolly’s been up to the past few months. As our country was starting to lock down due, Dolly announced that she was donating $1 million to Vanderbilt University’s Coronavirus research.
Then, because kids were out of school, Dolly launched a web series called “Goodnight with Dolly” where she reads bedtime stories from her Imagination Library to children. If you’re not familiar with the Imagination Library, it’s a literacy program that Dolly launched in 1995 to send free books to children every month until their 5th birthday. In that time, Dolly has given away over 130 MILLION free books.
And because she hadn’t already spread enough joy during this terrible time, just this week Dolly blessed us with a brand new message of hope by way of a new song, “When Life is Good Again,” which is all about coming out of quarantine with more compassion and love for those around you.
“We’ll make it through this long dark night Darkness fades when faced with light And everything’s gonna be alright When life is good again”
Is there anything that Dolly can’t do?
For all of her good work, Dolly was recently named Tennessean of the Year by the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame (like there was any other choice), although Dolly joked that she’s not very athletic because she “just couldn’t find tennis shoes, cleats, or blades with five-inch heels.”
It’s that same trademark humor that’s managed to endear Dolly to so many over the years. Whether she’s joking about her plastic surgery (“It costs a lot of money to look this cheap!”) or starting new viral meme trends like the Dolly Parton challenge, her charm and sense of humor are some of Dolly’s most recognizable assets (aside from her…well, never mind).
Dolly Parton has been on the national stage for almost 55 years. Yet somehow, she just keeps becoming even more beloved as the years go on. Her music is classic, yet timeless – I mean, have you ever heard anybody say they don’t like “Jolene?” (If you have, you should probably remove that person from your life. But chances are, it’ll never come to that).
And despite being 74 years old, Dolly doesn’t seem to be ready to just fade away and enjoy the rest of her life in private. Just this year, Dolly said that she would like to be on the cover of Playboy for her 75th birthday. Talk about something that would unite this country!
55 years after moving to Nashville from her small town in east Tennessee, Dolly continues to be a force for good in her community, her state, her country, and the entire world. She remains one of the most (and maybe only) universally beloved people that we have left in these divisive times.