Over the weekend, the non-profit organization Leadership Tennessee presented Dolly Parton with the inaugural Dolly Parton Excellence in Leadership Award at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville.
Parton’s award comes after the singer’s lifetime of charitable work in her homestate, from her long-running Imagination Library, which provides free books to children, to her more recent fundraising efforts to help victims of the 2016 East Tennessee wildfires. Those efforts included a telethon — featuring Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., Alison Krauss, and Chris Stapleton — that raised over 12 million dollars for wildfire victims.
“My dream was to make as many people happy as I could in this life, and I am grateful to Leadership Tennessee and First Lady Crissy Haslam for recognizing our work done to improve the lives of all Tennesseans,” Parton said at the ceremony. “Even more humbling is for decades to come the future leaders of Tennessee will receive an award with the Parton family name attached to it, and for that I am truly honored and thankful.”
Presented by Leadership Tennessee, which is in its fifth year of existence as an organization, the Dolly Parton Excellence in Leadership Award will be given out yearly to future state residents who follow in the 72-year-old singer-songwriter’s example.