Dolly Parton says she wants to be remembered as ‘a giving person’

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton arrives at the 53rd annual CMA Awards at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, in Nashville, Tennessee. (Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Dolly Parton says she wants to be remembered as ‘a giving person’

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Dolly Partons desire to be remembered as “a giving person” and “a good-hearted person” is causing her to stop and think about how she will use a recent $100 million award.

The country music icon was recognized for her philanthropic efforts to “pursue solutions with courage and civility” by Jeff Bezos earlier this month. In addition to the monetary award that is to be donated to a charity of her choice, she was also honored with the Bezos Courage and Civility Award.

Parton, 76, told ET that she was shocked when she learned of receiving the award.

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“Well, I couldn’t believe it. First of all, I cried on the phone with Jeff Bezos,” Parton said. “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.”

“And so, I just am still praying and thinking about where it all can go. I don’t have to spend it all in one place [and I] don’t have to spend it all right now,” she continued, revealing that she still needs “to think about it and … 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.”

Parton’s philanthropic work includes major donations to medical efforts, including a $1 million donation to Vanderbilt University’s Medical Center for COVID-19 vaccine research. She also founded the Dollywood Foundation, which aims to support education and poverty relief.

“I want to be remembered as a good person. If I can be, I want to be remembered as a giving person, a talented person,” Parton added. “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.”

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The country music legend was also honored as she became a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in early November. Parton originally declined the induction, saying she didn’t feel she had “done enough to deserve that.”

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