And the answer: Dolly Parton.
In 2020, Dolly Parton donated $1 million to COVID-19 research. She learned her funds were used for both the research and development of the Moderna vaccine at the same time we did. When she was inoculated, she sang a parody of her song, Jolene, with the word “vaccine”.
Otherwise known as the "Smoky Mountain Songbird," "Backwoods Barbie" or even "The Leading Lady of Country," Dolly Parton has been an iconic name in pop culture for over fifty years. Parton holds over two-dozen Grammy awards, two Academy Award nominations, and seven Academy of Country Music Awards, yet the future for this country star wasn't always certain. Born into a family of eleven other children, Parton grew up in a two-room house in Tennessee. Without much money, Parton was expected to take care of her younger siblings full time beginning when she was just nine years old. Meanwhile, Parton made her artistic debut singing and playing guitar in church.
A year later, Parton began singing and playing the guitar on Tennessee television and radio. The young singer had been exposed to traditional Appalachian music at an early age, as her mother would sing folk songs to Parton and her siblings throughout her childhood. Soon after, Parton's uncle introduced her to the creators of a radio program and T.V. show called The Cas Walker Farm and Home Hour. Before long, Parton was a regular performer on the show.
Just three years later (at only thirteen years old), Parton made her stage debut at The Grand Old Opry, with an introduction from none other than Johnny Cash himself. The audience was immediately enamored, demanding not one or two encores, but three. This performance marked the first of many to come at the iconic venue.
Parton's career began to pick up after graduating high school and moving to Nashville. There, she found her big break performing on the Porter Wagoner Show in 1967. Parton's high voice and charming stage presence won hearts around the city, and soon, Parton was headlining performances herself.
Learn more about the iconic country singer, businesswoman, actress and author Dolly Parton here.