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.