NEW YORK (AP) — Dolly Parton laughs at the idea that she is some sort of secret philanthropist.
Sure, social media sleuths did piece together this week that the country superstar had been quietly paying for the band uniforms of many Tennessee high schools for years. And yes, it did take decades for her to reveal that she used the songwriting royalties she earned from Whitney Houston’s version of “I Will Always Love You” to purchase a strip mall in Nashville to support the surrounding Black neighborhood in her honor. Oh, and it did eventually come out that Parton had donated $1 million for research that helped create the Moderna vaccine for COVID–19.
“I don’t do it for attention,” she told The Associated Press in an interview, shortly before she received the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy at Gotham Hall in New York City Thursday night. “But look! I’m getting a lot of attention by doing it.”
In fact, Parton believes she gets too much attention for her philanthropic work – which ranges from promoting childhood literacy to supporting those affected by natural disasters and providing numerous college scholarships through her Dollywood Foundation.