Dolly Parton gushed that she “couldn’t believe it” when she was honored with the Jeff Bezos Courage and Civility Award earlier this month. The legendary country artist, known for her philanthropic efforts, was awarded a $100 million grant with the award.
Parton said when she recently caught up with Entertainment Tonight that she cried while she spoke on the phone with Bezos “because of the gift and how much good I will really be able to do with that.” Parton added that she’s going to “let my heart lead me on those things [how to donate the $100 million]. But I can guarantee you, I’ll be able to do a lot of good for a lot of needy causes and a lot of needy good people.”
Parton joined Bezos and Lauren Sanchez to receive the award, pledging to “do my best to do good things with this money.” Sanchez deemed the country superstar a “woman who gives with her heart and leads with love and compassion in every aspect of her work.”
Earlier this year, Parton gave $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center for pediatric infectious disease research. The donation followed her previous $1 million gift to Vanderbilt in April 2020, aiming to help combat COVID-19. She’s also known for helping children worldwide access books via the Imagination Library, and for creating the Dolly Parton scholarship in Tennessee.
“I want to be remembered as a good person,” Parton added to Entertainment Tonight. “I just want to say that I’ve done everything I could with everything I had and tried to do as much good as I can and have as much fun as I can have for my personal self and have other people have fun at my expense. So, I just want to be remembered as a good-hearted person.”