Dolly Parton named to ‘2021 People of the Year’ list


KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Dolly just keeps on winning – this time with her charitable work. East Tennessee’s own country music icon Dolly Parton has been named as part of People magazine’s “ 2021 People of the Year .”

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Dolly Parton, 75, was named for her work with her Imagination Library as well as donating COVID-19 research ; while others named as part of the 2021 People of Year include Olympic gymnast Simone Biles for her focus on mental health, actor Sandra Oh for fighting anti-Asian hate and working on “transformative stories,” and the more than 3 million teachers in our country — all for striving to make differences in their related fields.

“This year has been a transformative one, pushing us all to create something new and hopefully better for our lives,” the magazine said. “This issue reflects that spirit: Our People of the Year cover stars have all led the way in their fields to help make the world a little bit better.”

APRIL 2020: Dolly Parton announces $1 million donation to Vanderbilt for COVID-19 research

In 2021, Dolly Parton was top of mind for several honors and awards; winning her first-ever Emmy Award for her Netflix Christmas special , being named one of TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People , winning multiple Telly Awards for her “Goodnight with Dolly” web series, plus getting recognized by Tennessee Governor Bill Lee for her contributions to children’s literacy .

Celebrating Dolly and the economic impact she’s had on the East TN region

Recently, the country icon honored her hometown of Sevierville as part of the “Honor Your Hometown” campaign to highlight common bonds that unite Americans by celebrating hometowns across the country.

Next up, like many others, she’s looking forward to Christmas. Parton spoke with WATE 6 On Your Side Anchor Lori Tucker last month about her favorite time of year and Dollywood’s Smoky Mountain Christmas, which is happening through December.

The Associated Press also contributed to this report.

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