The “9 to 5” singer was awarded with the Bezos Courage and Civility Award by the Amazon founder and his partner Lauren Sanchez Friday, along with $100M to aid her philanthropic efforts
“She gives with her heart,” he continued. “What she’s done for kids, for illiteracy and so many other things — is just incredible. It is my great honor to welcome the 2022 Courage and Civility recipient up on stage. Dolly Parton.”
“Did you say 100 million dollars?!” Parton, 76, reacted after she received the honor in a sparkly, black gown.
“When people are in a position to help, you should help,” the country music legend urged to the cheering intimate audience. “And I know that I’ve always said I try to put my money where my heart is, and I think you do the same thing.”
“I’m going to try do my best to do good things with this money,” Parton pledged, adding, “Thank you, Jeff.”
Parton — who was inducted into the 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Nov. 5 — has long been a positive force behind supporting kids who have difficulty reading.
Inspired by her father’s own illiteracy, the country legend launched the Imagination Library project in 1995 and has now donated almost 170 million books to children under five.
In June, the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville also announced that Parton donated $1 million for pediatric infectious disease research, following a previous $1 million donation towards research into the Moderna COVID vaccine in 2020.
Despite this Parton admitted she is still slightly uncomfortable with being recognized for her good deeds. “I have to honestly tell you, I was a little bit skeptical of being put on the cover as one of the People of the Year,” she added. “Because that’s a lot of pressure. But, yeah, it’s like, I am not all that. I’m glad that I stand for enough stuff to where I’m not the worst person in the world.”