When some really famous folk speak up, people truly listen. Take for instance, country music’s legendary Dolly Parton. She’s an incredible star with a gorgeous voice and fans based around the world. She’s been recognized with tons of awards and accolades, and for such a petite woman in stature, she’s also got a giant heart.
To get an idea of how major a superstar this tiny dynamo is with her mass of platinum locks, just take a peek at the recent 3-hour telethon she staged. Dolly Parton helped raise money for the victims of the devastating wildfires that tore through Tennessee’s Sevler County in November. The singer recalls fondly growing up there and maintains several local businesses in the area, including her world-famous Dollywood theme park.
The donations were flooding in and in those three brief hours, the “Smoky Mountains Rise ” TV telethon was able to ignite the love and generosity of many. Dolly Parton and her singing friends entertained viewers and watched as they totaled close to $9 million in donations, says TV network ABC. In fact, the money is still pouring in, and Dolly Parton couldn’t be happier or prouder.
The tragic wildfires that ripped through Tennessee killed 13, burned through some 17,000 acres and damaged an estimated 1,000 buildings throughout Sevler County. It’s been a heart-breaking time for the residents there, and Dolly Parton knew she had to make a difference.
During the telethon, other famous voices added their talent to the musical line-up, including Reba McIntyre, Kenny Rogers, Cyndi Lauper and Don McLean. The NFL’s Tennessee Titans also participated in the event, donating more than $100,000. Superstar Taylor Swift also gave $100,000, matching the donation of the Academy of Country Music. Legendary singer Paul Simon also dug into his pockets to the tune of $100,000.
Dolly Parton told the media that she always returns home for Christmas and believes the devastation will be brutal to witness in person. She says she is lucky to be going back to a warm, cozy home, but many others affected by the wildfires lost everything. That is why rushing to put together a TV telethon was the right thing to do.
The people of Tennessee are more than just residents to Dolly Parton, and she’s not letting anyone down.
The “Smoky Mountains Rise” telethon is going to be re-broadcast soon and expected to raise even more donations for the victims of the tragic Tennessee wildfires.
“The hearts and souls of the people are tough,” Dolly Parton said. They may not be blood kin, but to her, they “feel like my people.”