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Dolly Parton says faith compelled her COVID-19 research donation, and she won't jump line to get vaccine

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 05: Dolly Parton attends We Are Family Foundation honors Dolly Parton & Jean Paul Gaultier at Hammerstein Ballroom on November 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/Getty Images)

Dolly Parton says it was her faith that fueled her decision to donate a whopping $1 million donation to coronavirus research.

The country music icon stunned fans in 2020 when she donated $1 million to COVID-19 research being done at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. 

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the donation made by Parton and the work done by researchers at Vanderbilt during trial phases directly led to Moderna announcing it had produced a coronavirus vaccine that is nearly 95% effective.

Speaking of her donation to the Associated Press, the songstress said: "Well, I follow my heart. I’m a person of faith and I pray all the time that God will lead me into the right direction and let me know what to do."

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"When the pandemic first hit, that was my first thought, 'I need to do something to try to help find a vaccination.' I just did some research with the people at Vanderbilt (University) — they’re wonderful people, they’ve been so good through the years to my people in times of illness and all that. I just asked if I could donate a million dollars to the research for a vaccine," she continued.

The "9 to 5" singer also revealed if she's yet received the COVID-19 vaccine.

"No," she said. "I'm not going to get mine until some more people get theirs. I do not want it to look like I'm jumping the line just because I donated money. I’m very funny about that."

Parton noted that she "legally" could have received the vaccine last week, as she's now officially 75. The performer turned 75 back on Jan. 19, and she revealed that she actually considered receiving it that very day but changed her mind.

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"I was going to do it on my birthday, and I thought, 'Nah, don’t do that.' You’ll look like you’re just doing a show. None of my work is really like that. I wasn’t doing it for a show. I’m going to get mine. I want it. I’m going to get it. When I get it, I’ll probably do it on camera so people will know and I’ll tell them the truth, if I have symptoms and all that. Hopefully it’ll encourage people. I’m not going to jump the line just because I could," the "Jolene" singer added.

Back in November, the country icon's contribution led fans to credit her with curing the coronavirus. Parton remained humble despite the acknowledgment, admitting that she believes she receives "a lot more credit than I deserve."

"I was just happy to be a part of any and all of that," she added.

Parton first announced her big donation last April, just months after the pandemic surged around the world.

"My longtime friend Dr. Naji Abumrad, who’s been involved in research at Vanderbilt for many years, informed me that they were making some exciting advancements toward that research of the coronavirus for a cure," she wrote on Instagram at the time. "I am making a donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt toward that research and to encourage people that can afford it to make donations."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.