Dolly Parton is a diva in the best sense of the word—she’s kind, and her discography speaks for itself, but she also has an entire amusement park named after her. (Honestly, I’m shocked more celebrities don’t have their own attractions—imagine what a Beyoncé theme park would look like!)
In her new Billboard cover story, the country singer and all-around musical icon talks about everything from the very beginnings of her career as a businesswoman to the recent Black Lives Matter protests.
“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!”
Okay, it’s truly impossible not to love this woman.
Parton also spoke about her decision to rename a Dollywood dinner attraction from “Dixie Stampede” to “Dolly Parton’s Stampede”—something she did back in 2018, before the current moment. (The band once known as The Dixie Chicks also dropped the “Dixie” and changed their name to The Chicks earlier this year.)
“There’s such a thing as innocent ignorance, and so many of us are guilty of that,” she says now. “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.”
It’s one thing when celebrities make the decision to change something possibly offensive about their name or identity as a result of public pressure, or due to an obvious fear that not changing will make them fall behind the times and lose popularity (yes, this is about the group formerly known as Lady Antebellum). But it’s much more meaningful to see a celebrity actually listen to valid criticism of them or their behavior and to make the change because they actually understand the reasons behind why they were asked to. Many of Parton’s much-less-famous peers, especially in country music, could learn a thing or two from her.