Dolly Parton says a star-studded telethon for those affected by recent wildfires in her native Tennessee has brought in about $9 million.
Parton headlined the Tuesday night event that was broadcast on several cable networks and livestreamed online. Parton said in a statement that all donations have yet to be counted, but the total stands at around $9 million. The total is expected to rise in the coming days as mail donations are counted and the telethon is rebroadcast.
The money goes to the Dollywood Foundation's My People Fund. It will provide $1,000 each month for six months to families who lost their primary residence in the fires.
The fires in Tennessee's Sevier County spread to more than 2,500 structures and killed 14 people.
Ross will perform at Essence Festival
For the first time, music icon Diana Ross will bring her star power to a stage at the 2017 Essence Festival in New Orleans. Ross was among the headliners announced Thursday for the festival annually held in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. "This is big," said Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications Inc., on getting Ross to agree to perform. "We've wanted her to join us forever and we're so happy she finally said 'yes!' " Joining Ross at the 23rd annual event, presented by Coca-Cola, will be R&B's Mary J. Blige, John Legend, Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, India.Arie, Jazmine Sullivan, Lalah Hathaway and first-timer Michel'le.
$1M contract: Rapper Pitbull received up to $1 million for his efforts to promote Florida as a tourist destination over the last year. The Miami rapper posted the contract to his Twitter account Thursday. "It's been an honor to represent Miami and the Sunshine State. I've taken Miami and Florida worldwide — WAY before any contract, and will do so way after. I love my home state." Pitbull said in a Twitter message.
'Crazy few days': HGTV's Tarek El Moussa has opened up days after he and his wife, "Flip or Flop" co-host Christina El Moussa, announced their separation. Tarek El Moussa posted a picture of himself and his daughter on Instagram on Wednesday night. He wrote, "It's been a crazy few days but we love our kids so much!!" The former couple told People magazine that they have dated other people amid the split. On Monday, the El Moussas announced that they were separating six months after law enforcement was called to their California home. No charges were filed in that incident.
Expecting: Ryan Lochte has jumped in the pool to announce that he and fiancée Kayla Rae Reid are expecting a baby. The Olympic swimmer and the former Playboy model shared pictures on Instagram of Lochte under water and kissing Reid's tiny baby bump.