KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Time Magazine named country superstar and East Tennessee native Dolly Parton among the 100 most influential people of 2021 with a foreword written by her goddaughter Miley Cyrus.
The annual most influential people list recognizes innovators, creators and leaders from business, music, sports, politics and more. The 2021 list was divided into six categories: artists, icon, innovators, leaders, pioneers and titans. Parton rightfully falling into the ‘Icons’ category alongside Prince Harry and Meghan, Tennis star Naomi Osaka and pop star Britney Spears.
Singer-songwriter and actress Miley Cyrus penned the magazine entry for her godmother Parton. Her father, country singer Billy Ray Cyrus, opened concerts for Parton in the early ’90s and collaborated on the song ‘Romeo’ in 1993.
“Have you ever met anyone who doesn’t love Dolly Parton? I never have,” Cyrus wrote in the opening line of the piece.
Parton made headlines during the pandemic when she donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University research into a COVID-19 vaccine which helped fund the highly effective Moderna vaccine.
Since 1995, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has delivered more than 160 million books to children around the world instilling a love of literacy. The program recently received a $150,000 award from the Library of Congress for work in promoting early literacy.
Earlier this year, she released a statement asking lawmakers to withdraw legislation aimed at placing a statue of her on the ground of the state Capitol building in Nashville.
“There’s a theory that you shouldn’t meet your heroes, but I wish everyone had the chance to meet Dolly Parton, because she’s even better than your sparkliest dreams,” Cyrus concludes.