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USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect
Dolly Parton .JPG
USA TODAY NETWORK via Reuters Connect

'I don't want to be worshipped': Dolly Parton awarded 'People of the Year' honour

by Kelly Valencia

US Christian singer, Dolly Parton, has been named 'People of the Year' by the US People Magazine for her "transformative work" in society. 

The 75-year-old has been included in the list together with other celebrities such as gymnast Simone Biles and actress Sandra Oh. 

"Dolly Parton has always done her part through efforts like her Imaginary Library which to date has given more than 160 million books to kids in need. Early in the pandemic, she saw another way to help, donating $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to support Covid research, which resulted in the Moderna vaccine that became widely available this year," People magazine said. 

In an interview with People, Parton said she did not want to be worshipped for her generosity and added that donating should not be done seeking admiration. 

"I don't want to be worshiped, because there's a scripture in my Bible that talks about idol worship," Parton explained. "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."

She continued: "I have to honestly tell you, I was a little bit sceptical of being put on the cover as one of the people of the year because that's a lot of pressure but, if I can set an example, then that's great."

Parton has previously turned down the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the US, and in February she asked the state of Tennessee not to build a statue of her as lawmakers were pushing to do so. 

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

Dolly Parton has always been very vocal about her faith. The 10-times Grammy winner grew up in a Christian household, her Grandfather was a preacher at her church and her mother was a preacher's daughter.

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