Jeff Bezos awards Dolly Parton $100m prize

Emily Brown

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Jeff Bezos awards Dolly Parton $100m prize

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has awarded country music star Dolly Parton a $100 million prize.

Is it for the brilliance of 'Jolene'? No. The relatability of '9-5'? Nope, not that either - though I wouldn't be disappointed if it was.

In fact, the money isn't for Parton's music at all, but instead for her philanthropy.

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Parton received the Bezos Courage and Civility Award from Bezos and his girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, at a ceremony which took place over the weekend.

Prior to announcing the winner, Sanchez explained that the award 'recognises leaders who aim high, find solutions, and who always do it with civility'.

"Each awardee wins $100 million (£85m) to direct to the charities that they see fit," she continued.

Bezos described Parton as a woman who 'embodies these ideals so thoroughly', and as someone who 'gives with her heart'.

The singer took to the stage to receive the award, grinning and exclaiming 'Wow! Did you say $100 million?'

Both Bezos and Sanchez spoke at the awards ceremony. Credit: Alexi/Alamy Stock Photo
Both Bezos and Sanchez spoke at the awards ceremony. Credit: Alexi/Alamy Stock Photo

She went on to encourage those who are in a position to help to offer their help, adding: "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 will do my best to do good things with this money," she continued. "Thank you, Jeff."

Alongside footage of Parton receiving the award, Sanchez wrote on Instagram: "Jeff and I are so proud to share that we have a new Bezos Courage and Civility Award winner — 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, @DollyParton."

Parton has long shown her dedication to charity, having founded a number of her own and previously donating $1m (£850,000) to Vanderbilt University's Medical Center to help develop a vaccine following the outbreak of coronavirus.

Parton has long showed her interest in philanthropy. Credit: Matthew Horwood/Alamy Stock Photo
Parton has long showed her interest in philanthropy. Credit: Matthew Horwood/Alamy Stock Photo

In 1988, Parton established the Dollywood Foundation with the goal of helping children 'achieve educational success'. The organisation later morphed into the Imagination Library; a program which posts books to children from birth to age five, regardless of their family's income.

The first Bezos Courage and Civility Awards went to TV host Van Jones, who served as founding chief executive of the REFORM Alliance and Dream Corps, and Spanish chef and humanitarian José Andrés, who received the award after establishing World Central Kitchen to provide food to affected people in the aftermath of disasters.

Topics: Celebrity, Dolly Parton, Jeff Bezos, Money

Emily Brown
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