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Dolly Parton

NEW YORK — Country superstar Dolly Parton, who made a big donation to help fund coronavirus vaccine research in 2020, is among this year's Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy recipients.

Also being honored are Dallas entrepreneur Lyda Hill, Kenyan industrialist Manu Chandaria, and Lynn and Stacy Schusterman, from the Oklahoma investment family.

The award, presented by the international family of Carnegie institutions to honor innovative philanthropists, debuted in 2001 and is normally awarded every two years. It was not issued in 2021 due to the pandemic.

The 2022 honorees will receive their medals in a private ceremony in New York on Oct. 13. A priority of the ceremony is fostering personal meetings to encourage the exchange of ideas and spur potential collaboration — something this year’s honorees have already done, said Eric Isaacs, president of the Carnegie Institution for Science and a member of the medal selection committee.

Parton’s $1 million donation to Vanderbilt University Medical Center has received plenty of attention. But her fellow honoree Hill, through her Lyda Hill Philanthropies, was also an early donor to the work that would yield the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

“I invested before it was anything,” Hill told the Associated Press. “One of the things that Warren Buffett said that stuck with me was, ‘Don’t do what other people can do and will do. Do what other people can’t do and won’t do. And take risks.’ I have had to apply that to my philanthropic investments.”

Parton, in a statement, said she was honored to receive the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy.

“I’ve always believed that if you are in a position to help, you should help, and I truly hope that I can be an inspiration for others to lift up those around them,” said Parton, who will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in November, and makes most of her donations through her Dollywood Foundation. “Whether through my Imagination Library or giving to COVID-19 research, I try to support things that have a special meaning for me. I hope everyone can find something they’re passionate about supporting and do what they can to help make this world a better place.”


Country music star Kenny Chesney is mourning the death of a fan whom police say fell from an escalator at his concert in Denver on Saturday.

The incident occurred shortly before 11 p.m. local time when the woman sat on the railing of an escalator at Empower Field and fell, police said, according to the Denver Post.

“I was devastated to learn of the loss of someone after our show,” Chesney, 54, told the newspaper in a statement, calling her death “heartbreaking.”

“Life is precious. Sharing music brings us together and that love we share makes us so much more,” the singer said. “For the lady who came to share that love, there are no words. For her friends and family’s loss, I grieve with them and for them.”

Denver Police spokesman Nate Magee said the fall appeared to be an accident, not the result of the woman being pushed, according to the Denver Post. He also said he didn’t know how far she fell or whether alcohol was a factor.

The fall happened at the end of the concert, Empower Field said.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of the woman involved in the tragic incident,” the venue said in a statement.

Chesney, a six-time Grammy nominee, is in the middle of his “Here and Now” tour.


Sylvester Stallone

Like cheesesteaks, the Eagles, and perennial mismanagement of city services, "Rocky" has long been a part of Philadelphia’s DNA. But the man behind the Italian Stallion, Sylvester Stallone, doesn’t have any control over the franchise — and he appears to have had about enough.

Recently, Stallone has posted impassioned messages on his social channels about the "Rocky" ownership situation, targeting producer Irwin Winkler and his family. Winkler, 91, won a best picture in 1977 as a producer for the original "Rocky," and has since been involved in producing each of the film franchise’s entries.

Stallone has since deleted many of the messages, but they’ve been captured by a number of news outlets. In one, he depicted Winkler as a vampire sucking the blood from Rocky Balboa’s neck and referred to the producer as the “most hated, untalented, decrepited [sic] producer in Hollywood.”

"Rocky’s" creation is as much of a Cinderella story as the film’s plot: Stallone conceived, wrote and starred in the film when he was up and coming. He went on to appear as Balboa in all of the franchise’s films, directed "Rocky II-IV," and returned to his role as Rocky in the "Creed" films.

But not owning the character for which he is perhaps best known has long been a sore spot. As he told Variety in 2019, on the first film, he was paid about $75,000 for the "Rocky" screenplay and his acting work, and given 10 net points. In all, Stallone said, he earned about $2.5 million on the first film, but has “zero ownership of 'Rocky.'”

Winkler, meanwhile told Variety that Stallone “made way, way more than that — of that I am sure.”

Stallone has ramped up his messaging online in recent weeks. According to Deadline, that began in earnest last month, when Stallone posted a message on his Instagram asking for Winkler to give him “what’s left” of his "Rocky" rights back.

“After IRWIN controlling ROCKY for over 47 years, and now CREED, I really would like have [sic] at least a little WHAT’s LEFT of my RIGHTS back, before passing it on to ONLY YOUR CHILDREN,” Stallone wrote. The message reportedly included an image of Winkler with the body of a snake.

Unfortunately, though, Stallone has said a number of times that he has hung up his gloves when it comes to playing Rocky. In 2018, Stallone released an emotional goodbye — again, in a since-deleted Instagram post — to the character, writing in a video caption that it was “my ultimate privilege to have been able to create and play this meaningful character,” and that “all things must pass … and end.”

What’s more, he won’t be appearing in the upcoming "Creed III," which is set for release in March. Stallone wrote on Instagram in April 2021 that the movie “will be done but I won’t be in it” — news that a representative confirmed to the Hollywood Reporter. In June, Stallone reiterated his absence from the film in an interview with Metro UK, saying that he “bowed out of that one” because the film “takes it in a different direction.”

From combined wire services