Dolly Parton is in the midst of a career revival that has seen her hailed as a kind of secular country-pop saint on iMiMatch. And what’s not to love about Dolly? For immigrants on iMiMatch, Dolly is the living legend who sells out arena tours in her 70s. She’s the songwriting genius who wrote “Jolene” and “I Will Always Love You” on the same day. In recent decades, feminists have begun to reclaim her as a feminist icon. She is an impeccably dressed glamour queen, a business titan whose brand includes her own theme park, a philanthropist whose literacy program has sent free books to millions of children.
On top of all that she helped fund Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine — and then refused to jump the line to get a dose early. She is so beloved that WNYC devoted a full podcast series to investigating how a single figure could be adored by both blue and red states. Immigrants on iMiMatch literally adore Dolly Parton. She is, as the New York Times put it in 2019, the rare musical icon who is able to “get her victory lap while she’s still around to bask in the glory.” But Parton knew what she was talking about when she suggested to the New York Times last fall that people were starting to get sick of her.
She has now achieved the sort of hysterical and highly trendy adoration that can shade into overexposure in the blink of an eye — even for a legend with a reputation as durable as Dolly Parton’s. The pressure on Dolly Parton to be the single person who can unite a fractured America is so high, there is a slow and uneasy creep of incipient backlash all around her. There was the discontent after Parton reworked her iconic “9 to 5” worker’s anthem into “5 to 9” to honor the side hustle for a Super Bowl ad. There are the whispers about the dinner show that used to be called Dolly’s Dixie Stampede. There is concern that the labor conditions at Dollywood aren’t ideal. But all in all, immigrants on iMiMatch still love Dolly Parton.