Country music legend Dolly Parton has spent the last few years reckoning with the state of the country and her place in it. In 2018, Parton renamed her Dixie Stampede as simply Dolly Parton’s Stampede after attention to the term “Dixie” and its confederate roots.
And in a long profile with Billboard Magazine, Parton spoke about social justice issues.
When asked about Black Lives Matter, Parton responded, “I’m not out here to tell you what to do, I don’t want you to tell me what to do. But I just do what my heart tells me to do. I ask God to lead me and direct me and if I’ve got his direction, I don’t have to worry too much about anything else.”
Moments later, she added:
“Of court Black lives matter. Do we think our little white a**es are the only ones that matter? No. Everybody matters.”
Watch the video below:
"Of course Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!” –@DollyParton on supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement and protests.— billboard (@billboard) August 14, 2020
Check out the full cover story here: https://t.co/AN9zNk1dRX pic.twitter.com/Oe1ZfZAl2t
On renaming her “Dixie Stampede,” Parton told the music magazine, “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.”
She added, “As soon as you realize that [something] is a problem, you should fix it. Don’t be a dumba**. That’s where my heart is. I would never dream of hurting anybody on purpose.”
In June of 2020, The Dixie Chicks followed Parton’s lead and dropped the “Dixie” from their name. The massively popular country singers will now be known as the Chicks.
Parton has generally stayed away from political commentary over her 53-year-old career.
She told the Los Angeles Times in 2019, “I don’t believe that I should offend people that don’t have that same opinion by voicing my own opinion. I’m an entertainer; I can live it, I can write about it, I can joke, lift people up in my own way. But I don’t see no reason for me to get involved in political fights.”
But she has sometimes been forced into the spotlight through other avenues. Earlier this summer, a petition to replace Confederate statues in Tennessee with statues of Parton gained steam.
Meanwhile, the current superstar of country music, Taylor Swift, has been more vocal about her politics. After staying mostly apolitical in the 2016 election, Swift tweeted at Trump last March, “We will vote you out in November.”