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Dolly Parton ‘cried on the phone’ with Jeff Bezos after receiving $100 million charity donation

Written by on November 30, 2022

Dolly Parton “cried on the phone” with entrepreneur Jeff Bezos when he revealed he was giving her $100 million (£83 million) to donate to her chosen charities.

Earlier this month, the Amazon boss announced the country singer as the 2022 recipient of his Bezos Courage and Civility Award in honour of her philanthropic work. As part of the award, Parton will receive $100 million to give to charities of her choice.

During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, the Jolene singer revealed she was very emotional when she heard the news.

“Well, I couldn’t believe it. First of all, I cried on the phone with Jeff Bezos,” she shared. “And when I found out he was really serious about it, I just cried because of the gift and how much good I will really be able to do with that.”

The 76-year-old explained that she is still thinking about which charities to donate to and how to split the hefty sum.

“I don’t have to spend it all in one place (and I) don’t have to spend it all right now,” she clarified. “(I’ll) let my heart lead me on those things. 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.”

The country music icon founded the Dollywood Foundation nonprofit organisation in 1986 with a focus on educating children, and she also runs Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a book-gifting programme. In 2020, she famously donated $1 million (£834,000) to the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee to help fund the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine.

Parton told ET that she wants to be remembered as a “giving person” as well as a talented one.

“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,” she said.

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