Country music star Dolly Parton received the $100 million Bezos Courage & Civility Award, which billionaire Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, gives to activists, philanthropists and humanitarians who "bravely seek solutions" to current world problems.
Bezos, who also owns the space company Blue Origin, announced the award on Friday alongside his longtime partner, news anchor Lauren Sanchez. Sanchez said on Instagram that Parton is "a woman who gives with her heart and leads with love and compassion in every aspect of her work."
“We can’t wait to see all the good that you’re going to do with this $100 million award,” she said. In a video clip of the ceremony posted online, Parton said: "Wow! Did you say $100 million?" “I think people who are in a position to help should put their money where their heart is.
I will do my best to do good things with this money,” she said. Dolly Parton (76) - a country, gospel and pop singer and author who has released numerous hits such as "I Will Always Love You" and "Jolene" during her decades-long career - also stands out for her philanthropic activities.
For example, she donated $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center to help develop a vaccine during the covid-19 pandemic. She has also founded a number of charities, including the Dollywood Foundation which focuses on education as well as poverty alleviation.
During the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony, Dolly Parton performed a new song.
"I'm a rock star now!" she said. "This is a very special night for me." Addressing her previous decision to remove herself from the nomination process, Parton said, "I'm sure a lot of you knew that back when they said they were gonna put me in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I didn't feel like I had done enough to deserve that.
I didn't understand at the time that it's about more than that, but I'm just so honored and so proud to be here tonight." "If I'm going to go in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I'm going to have to earn it," Parton said.
"And you thought I couldn't rock & roll." She performed the rockin' new track alongside the Zac Brown Band.