Dolly Parton, Simone Biles are People Magazine's 'People of the Year'

By Megan Hadley
Dolly Parton was named one of People Magazine's People of the Year. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
1 of 5 | Dolly Parton was named one of People Magazine's People of the Year. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Dec. 1 (UPI) -- People Magazine named Dolly Parton, Sandra Oh, Simone Biles and National Teacher of the Year Juliana Urtubey -- along with all of America's Teachers -- its 2021 honorees.

People reported that each individual did their part to make the world a better place during a "transformative year."


The magazine also listed the different reasons to celebrate during 2021, including baby steps towards a post-pandemic life, reunions with loved ones and an actual Friends reunion.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Parton donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to support vaccine research, which resulted in the Moderna vaccine, available earlier this year.

Parton got her Moderna vaccine in March, and shared a video of her on Instagram singing her hit song "Jolene" with a twist on the lyrics.

"Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine / I'm begging of you, please don't hesitate," she sang. "Vaccine, vaccine, vaccine, vaccine / 'Cause once you're dead, then that's a bit too late," she sang.

Parton also helps others through her charity Imagination Library, which has given more than 160 million books to children in need.


For Sandra Oh, she used her celebrity status to stand up for anti-asian hate, including speaking out after the spa murders in Georgia, the article said.

She continued to use her voice through transformative stories, like her Netflix show, The Chair.

"Progress is not just sticking a bunch of people of color [into a show] and having them speak like everyone else," she told People.

"The thing that I'm most proud about with The Chair is how it's translated to people of color who are living and working in mostly white spaces. What I hope is that anyone who's watching it can say, 'That could easily be me.'"

Gymnastics star Simone Biles made history when she pulled out of the 2020 Olympics to focus on her mental health.

Biles said it "wasn't easy" opting out of the competition and giving up on her dream, but didn't want to risk her mental health and safety.

Biles, regarded as the best gymnast in history, is "keeping the door open" for the 2024 Summer Games in Paris.

The 24-year-old won four gold medals and a bronze at the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Juliana Urtubey, National Teacher of the Year, and finalists John Arthur, Alejandro Diasgranados and Maureen Stover represent the 3 million-plus classroom heroes who "have gone above and beyond to ensure our nation's kids have bright opportunities ahead," People reported.


In October, Urtubey visited the White House and can be seen hugging First Lady Jill Biden on the South Lawn during the National Teachers of the Year event.

Sandra Oh turns 50: a look back

Sandra Oh poses for pictures at the ABC Up-Fronts in New York City on May 18, 2004. Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/UPI | License Photo

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