Dolly Parton Asks Fans To Join Her In Prayer As Wildfires Rage In East Tennessee
“It looks scary on TV,” Parton admitted.
Dolly Parton; Photo by Getty Images for ACM
East Tennessee native and country music icon Dolly Parton is showing her support for her neighbors in Sevier County, Tennessee amid a wildfire outbreak in the area.
On Thursday afternoon, Parton took to social media to share words of support for those impacted by the fires.
“I’ve been keeping up with everything going on with the fires near my home area. It looks scary on TV, but I’m proud of how everyone in the area has pulled together like they always do,” she wrote.
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She went on to praise the first responders who have traveled from acrosst the state and surrounding areas to help contain the flames.
“I’m especially proud of the brave men and women who are working to contain the fire. I know there are some folks who have been affected, and I hope that you will join me in saying a prayer for them,” she added.
Dollywood, Parton’s award-winning theme park, sits less than 15 miles from Wears Valley, where a fire has burned 3,700 acres, according to WATE. Parton assured fans that she has been in touch with her “people at Dollywood” and that everything is okay at the property.
Parton has always kept her hometown of East Tennessee close to her heart and is always sure to help her community whenever they are in need of support.
In 2016, a fire ravaged the Great Smoky Mountains, killing 14 people and damaging or destroying more than 2,400 buildings, including 2,100 homes and nearly 60 businesses in the Gatlinburg area. The estimated property damage was more than $500 million.
The “9 to 5” singer knew she had to do something to help the people affected and quickly jumped into action, launching Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund.
At the time, Parton raised $9 million dollars for relief efforts via a star-studded telethon that featured dozens of musicians who donated their time, including Kenny Rogers, Hank Williams Jr., Chris Stapleton, Reba McEntire, Chris Young, Jamey Johnson and more.
“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 previously said in a statement. “The response has been so overwhelming that we haven’t been able to count all of the donations yet.”
The My People Fund also received donations, some up to six figures, from artists including Kenny Chesney, Taylor Swift, Paul Simon, Dierks Bentley, among others.
Lauren Jo Black
Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for Answers.com and her work being featured on Forbes.com. She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.