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Dolly Parton Telethon Tops $9m For Gatlinburg Fire Victims

NASHVILLE, TN (CelebrityAccess) — Country music legend Dolly Parton's "Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund" telethon has raised almost $9 million, with donations still coming in.

“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,” Parton said in a statement. “The response has been so overwhelming that we haven’t been able to count all of the donations yet; right now, in total, we have raised about $9 million for the folks who lost everything in Sevier County.”

The telethon, which aired on Tuesday on several networks, including AEG's AXS-TV, featured more than 20 pre-recorded and live performances by a roster of artists ranging from Kenny Rogers and Chris Stapleton to Reba McEntire and Cyndi Lauper.

The telethon was raising money to aid people affected by a devastating wildfire that swept through the Gatlinburg region late last month. The fire destroyed more than 1600 buildings and killed at least 14 people.

Parton herself hails from Locust Ridge, which is just a few miles from Gatlinburg, and her Dollywood Theme Park is also located in nearby Pigeon Ford. – Staff Writers