Tennessee Lawmakers Want to Make Dolly Parton’s Rendition of “Amazing Grace” State’s Official Hymn

FILE PHOTO: Singer Dolly Parton arrives at the 51st Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada April 3, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Marcus/File Photo

Politicians in Tennessee are advocating for Dolly Parton‘s rendition of “Amazing Grace” to become the state’s official hymn.

Rep. Mike Sparks and Sen. Raumesh Akbari recently filed House Bill 938 petitioning for the move. The bill recognizes the hymn, written by John Newton in 1772, as one of the “songs of historic significance that have influenced this state,” and cites it as “one of the most celebrated songs in modern history.”

“It is appropriate that this body should formally recognize “Amazing Grace” as a state song,” the lawmakers write, also noting that, in addition to Parton, several artists with connections to Tennessee have recorded their own renditions of the song. The country legend was born and raised in the Great Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, but Aretha Franklin and Elvis Presley — both of whom were born in Memphis — as well as country icons Garth BrooksWillie NelsonMerle Haggard and others have also performed it.

The bill arrived after Parton rejected a different bill, from Rep. John Mark Windle, which proposed that a statue would be erected in her honor at the Tennessee State Capitol in Nashville.

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SOURCE: Taste of Country, Cillea Houghton

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