Following the tragic wildfires that wiped out much of the Great Smoky Mountains tourist community in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and killed 14 people, Dolly Parton has reached out with a huge telethon campaign designed to raise money to support all the families affected by the disaster. 

Dolly PartonDolly Parton raises money with 'Smoky Mountains Rise'

The three-hour Dollython aired yesterday (December 13th 2016) on the Great American Country network (GAC), in a TV special called 'Smoky Mountains Rise: A Benefit for the My People Fund'. The fires that swept East Tennessee a couple of weeks ago caused the evacuation of her Dollywood Theme Park.

Among those who performed at the event were legends the likes of Reba McEntire, Hank Williams Jr. and Kenny Rogers, as well as Cyndi Lauper, Don McClean and Alison Krauss. Some of the more contemporary country performers included hris Stapleton, Chris Young, Chris Janson, Locash and Lauren Alaina. More than 20 performed altogether, and by the time they were halfway through the telethon they had managed to raise $1.86 million in major donations.

More: Dolly Parton's fire victims fund

The benefit show comes alongside Dolly's recent pledge to pay $1,000 a month to fire victims from her My People Fund over the next six months, primarily those who had lost their homes to the blaze. The fund was vin partnership with her Dollywood Company. 'I've always believed charity begins at home', she said. 'And that's why I've asked my companies to help me establish a fund to assist the victims of the Great Smoky Mountain wildfires in Tennessee.'

Indeed, her first thoughts when she heard about the disaster was whether or not her family were in any danger. 'Just my family, that's always your first thought. It was so scary', she said at the time. Thankfully, her relatives were all safe, but she still immediately started work on rescuing everyone else's.