Dolly Parton has donated $1m to COVID-19 research and it was used to part-fund the Moderna vaccine.

The legendary performer, songwriter extraordinaire, feminist idol – and now vaccine sponsor – says she only found out that her donation had contributed to the trial yesterday morning.

She said she felt “very proud and very honoured” to be a small piece of what could be an essential treatment for COVID-19. “I just felt so proud to have been part of that little seed money that will hopefully grow into something great and help to heal this world,” she said.