Dolly Parton Shares Emotional Reaction to Jeff Bezos' $100M Gift for Charity (Exclusive)

Dolly Parton 'Excited' to Return to Host the ACM Awards for First Time in 22 Years (Exclusive)

Earlier this month, the singer was bestowed with the Bezos Courage and Civility Award.

If there's one thing Dolly Parton is known for, it's for giving back. And in November, the country music icon was recognized for her philanthropic work when Jeff Bezos announced that she was being bestowed with the Bezos Courage and Civility Award and awarded $100 million to donate to the charities of her choice. 

While speaking to ET's Cassie DiLaura about her upcoming star-studded NBC special, Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas, Parton shared her emotional reaction to being recognized with such an honor. "Well, I couldn’t believe it. First of all, I cried on the phone with Jeff Bezos," she said. "And when I found out he was really serious about it, I just cried because of the gift and how much good I will really be able to do with that." 

"And so, I just am still praying and thinking about where it all can go. I don’t have to spend it all in one place [and I] don’t have to spend it all right now," she continued, revealing that she still needs "to think about it and… let my heart lead me on those things. But I can guarantee you, I’ll be able to do a lot of good for a lot of needy causes and a lot of needy good people." 

Of course, this is not the first time Parton has donated money, with the "Jolene" singer notably donating $1 million to Vanderbilt University's Medical Center to help develop a COVID-19 vaccine. She also has founded a number of charities including the Dollywood Foundation, which focuses on education as well as poverty relief.

Bezos' Courage and Civility Award, meanwhile, was started in 2001 and has given prizes to notable names, like activist Van Jones, chef and humanitarian Jose Andres and others.

While reflecting on the opportunity to help others, Parton also shared what she hopes her legacy turns out to be. "I want to be remembered as a good person. If I can be, I want to be remembered as a giving person, a talented person," she said. "I just want to say that I’ve done everything I could with everything I had and tried to do as much good as I can and have as much fun as I can have for my personal self and have other people have fun at my expense. So, I just want to be remembered as a good-hearted person." 

Also, she's very proud of "being the book lady," Parton quipped. "I love books. The way that they feel and smell and look. From my first look, I was hooked on books. books, books!"

Dolly Parton’s Mountain Magic Christmas premieres Thursday, Dec. 1 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.