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Tennessee legislature pushes for Dolly Parton's 'Amazing Grace' to be the state hymn

After Parton declined the statue on Capitol Hill, lawmakers push for her 'Amazing Grace' to be the official state song.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee lawmakers have presented a bill to make Dolly Parton's version of the song 'Amazing Grace' to be the official hymn of the state. 

The song has been covered by a few notable Tennessee artists such as, Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Aretha Franklin, Garth Brooks, and more. 

The bill's authors, Rep. Mike Sparks (R- Smyrna) and Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D-Memphis) cite that the writer, John Newton, was a former slaver-turned-abolitionist and man of faith. 

  • "WHEREAS, Mr. Newton's conversion from a merchant and slaver to a man of faith led him to speak out against slavery..." 

Parton recently declined the state's offer of putting a statue of herself on Capitol Hill in Nashville. Parton said, "I don't think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time." 

However, in this new bill, HB0938, seeks to formally recognize "Amazing Grace" as a state hymn in Tennessee.

The House passed this bill on second consideration and referred to the Naming & Designating Committee.