“Dolly Parton – Grand Ole Opry, Nashville, TN (09/24/2011)” by Timothy Wildey is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0
There are doctors and scientists galore to credit for the joyous progress in the covid-19 vaccine trials. Moderna, one of the leading US vaccines, announced on Monday it is 95% effective. But there’s one name on the donor list you might not expect. It is none other than Dolly Parton.
Funding research for a vaccine is a change from the singers usual 9 to 5, but this is far from Parton’s first act of philanthropy. Like a fairy godmother to the US, there is hardly a life in America that hasn’t unwittingly benefitted from the singer’s generosity.
Parton was born in 1946, in a one-room cabin on the banks of the Little Pigeon River into poverty. She was the fourth of twelve children; her mother had eleven pregnancies in twenty years. As a child, Parton began performing on radio and television programmes before making her debut album Hello, I’m Dolly in 1967. Now, aged 74, she has composed over 3,000 songs, holds the joint record for the most songs in the Billboard #1 country music charts for a female artist (twenty-five) and is one of the select few to have been nominated for The Academy Awards, The Grammys, The Tonys and The Emmys.