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Dolly Parton and Sandra Oh named People of the Year 2021

53rd Annual Cma Awards
Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton and Sandra Oh have been named 2021’s People of the Year by People magazine.

The country music icon and Killing Eve actress were named in the publication’s annual list alongside gymnast Simone Biles and Juliana Urtubey, America’s National Teacher of the Year, and all four of the women grace special covers of the People of the Year issue.

In a video interview on the set of her photoshoot, the 9 to 5 singer admitted she wasn’t sure about accepting the honour.

“I have to honestly tell you, I was a little bit sceptical of accepting being on the cover of as one of the People of the Year because that’s a lot of pressure,” she shared. “I do feel pressure when people put me on such a pedestal, you know, I don’t deserve all that, I’m not all that… I’d rather think of my life being on a pulpit and not the pedestal, just trying to be in a place where I can try to, you know, if I have a sermon or if I know something about something, to present that, but not to be put in a place where I don’t belong. I don’t want them to worship me.”

The 75-year-old received the honour for philanthropic work, such as her Imagination Library, which has given more than 160 million books to kids in need to date, and for donating $1 million (£750,000) to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to support Covid-19 research, which resulted in the Moderna vaccine, although she insisted that she got “more credit than I deserve” for her funding contribution.

Oh was honoured for speaking out against anti-Asian hate crimes and producing Netflix series The Chair, while Biles was named for being open about her mental health struggles during this year’s Olympics.

– Cover Media