Simone Biles and Dolly Parton are among People magazine's 2021 "People of the Year," being honored for helping to "make the world a little bit better."
The Olympic gymnast and famed country singer, along with actor Sandra Oh and National Teacher of the Year Juliana Urtubey were named recipients of the annual accolade on Wednesday.
"This year has been a transformative one, pushing us all to create something new and hopefully better for our lives," People reporters Dan Wakeford and Kate Hogan wrote. "This issue reflects that spirt."
"Jolene" and "9 to 5" singer Parton was lauded for her philanthropic work, including a $1 million donation to Moderna that went toward COVID-19 vaccine research.
"It makes my heart feel good to know that I can do something for somebody else," Parton, 75, said. "So, I'm going to be right here, doing what I'm doing, 'til I fall over dead," she added.
Oh, a two-time Golden Globe Award winner, earned recognition for her new Netflix series "The Chair."
"Progress is not just sticking a bunch of people of color [into a show] and having them speak like everyone else," Oh told the magazine."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.'"
Twenty-four-year-old Biles — who earned both praise and criticism when she withdrew from the 2020 Tokyo Olympic finals after experiencing what gymnasts refer to as the "twisties," a potentially dangerous disconnect between an athlete's mind and body — said in an interview with People, "That's probably one of the first times in my career where I felt courageous and I felt like I had got to speak up for myself."
Urtubey was chosen, People said, as a way of representing teachers across the country "whose resilience has been unbelievably inspiring" amid the COVID-19 pandemic.