Dolly Parton this week organized Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund to raise money for those affected by the devastating fires in Sevier County, Tennessee.


Her evening of musical performances was supplemented by a telethon, which raised more than $9 million to help the area. The fires started in November and killed 14 people, while also damaging and/or destroying more than 2,400 buildings, almost all of which were homes. Property damages have been estimated to be around $500 million.

“I am overwhelmed by the generosity of the people who have donated from all over the country and to my friends who donated their time, their talent, and money for ‘My People,’” said Parton, who was born and raised in Sevier County. “The response has been so overwhelming that we haven’t been able to count all of the donations yet.”

The broadcast was aired on numerous local channels as well as online, and dozens of musicians performed for the benefit., including Kenny RogersHank Williams, Jr., and Cyndi Lauper. The fund also received generous donations from celebrities, including $200,000 together from Taylor Swift, the Academy of Country Music, and ACM Lifting Lives.


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