Country singer Dolly Parton held a telethon to support the victims of the Tennessee fire. The wildfires, which started November 29, is considered the largest in 100 years. It has already burned through tens of thousands of acres of land, killed 14 people and displaces more than a thousand families from the Sevier Country.
Parton, who is a native of the area, claims her family is safe, but everything is burning around them. She had previously pledged $1,000 a month for six months for families have lost their homes in the fire. With around 1,300 families displaces, the monthly pledge will amount to $1.3 million every month.
"Everybody goes to the mountains. Their children, those hiking trails, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited National Park in the United States, so it ain't just about it being my home, this is one of the greatest tourist areas in all of Tennessee or in the South I think or in the world as far as I'm concerned," said Dolly.
Around half a million dollars have already been donated to Dolly Parton's My People fund before the telethon which lasted for three hours. The "Smoky Mountains Rise" telethon was a huge success that a second line had to be added because so many people were calling to give their pledge of support.
The exact amount raised in the telethon has not yet been revealed, although Dolly said that millions were raised for the displaced victims of the fire.
The three-hour show began with Dolly Parton singing several of her songs. Her performance was followed by many more artists which included, Chris Stapleton, Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., Reba McEntire, Michael W Smith, Amy Grant, Alabama, and others.
There were also video messages by celebrities such as Kiefer Sutherland, Carrie Underwood, Steve Harvey and Katy Perry. Some celebrities like Paula Deen, Cassadee Pope, Henry Cho and others also gave their time to the cause by answering phones during the telethon.
LOCASH, who performed during the event, said it was not just about raising money, but being a family and doing everything to support family members who are in need.
Pop star Taylor Swift donated $100,000 while Kenny Chesney and the Country Music Association donated $250,000.