Honoree Dolly Parton accepts the 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year Award onstage during MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Dolly Parton at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 8, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Honoree Dolly Parton accepts the 2019 MusiCares Person of the Year Award onstage during MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Dolly Parton at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 8, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Michael Kovac/Getty Images for NARAS)

Dolly Parton Inducted Into Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Shares Why She Initially Turned it Down

Despite her initial hesitations, Dolly Parton has officially been voted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The music icon was announced as a nominee in February and she made headlines when she declined the nomination, stating that she didn't feel that she'd earned the right. However, the ballots were already out and the voters had spoken; Parton will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

On April 29, Parton told NPR she'd "accept gracefully" if she was inducted and that's just what she'll be doing.

In a recent interview with Billboard,  Parton clarified her original statement and reiterated how honored she is to be voted into the Hall of Fame.

"I feel honored that all the people that voted for me did. And I appreciate the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame people for staying there with me. I never meant to cause trouble or stir up any controversy," Parton told Billboard.  "It was just always my belief — and I think millions of other people out there too — always thought the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was just set up for the greatest people in the rock 'n' roll business, and I just didn't feel like I really measured up to that and I don't want to take anything away from the people that have worked so hard."

During a March interview with Fox & Friends, on which she appeared with her Run, Rose, Run co-author James Patterson, Parton explained her original decision to decline her nomination for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

"Because my perception, and I think the perception of most of America — I just feel like that's more for the people in rock music," Parton said on Thursday (March 17). "I've been educated since then, saying that it's more than that, but I still didn't feel right about it. It kind of would be like putting AC/DC in the Country Music Hall of Fame. That just felt a little out of place for me."

On March 14, the music icon made the announcement that she was declining the nomination, stating that she "must respectfully bow out" as she doesn't feel that she's "earned that right."

However, the "Jolene" singer noted that she hopes she could be considered again in the future and added that she's been inspired to release a "great rock 'n' roll album," which would seriously impress her husband, Carl Dean.

"Dolly here! Even though I am extremely flattered and grateful to be nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I don't feel that I have earned that right. I really do not want votes to be split because of me, so I must respectfully bow out," Parton's statement reads. "I do hope that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will understand and be willing to consider me again - if I'm ever worthy. This has, however, inspired me to put out a hopefully great rock'n'roll album at some point in the future, which I have always wanted to do! My husband is a total rock'n'roll freak, and has always encouraged me to do one. I wish all of the nominees good luck and thank you again for the compliment. Good luck!"

Though Parton has declined the nod, Variety reports that, since voting is already underway, she's still techinically in the running as the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has made no announcement to disqualify her.

Statement From Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

On March 17, the Hall of Fame issued a statement regarding Parton.

"All of us in the music community have seen Dolly Parton's thoughtful note expressing her feeling that she has not earned the right to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame," the statement says. "In addition to her incredible talent as an artist, her humility is another reason Dolly is a beloved icon by millions of fans around the world."

The Rock Hall of Fame's statement gave further insight into why the legendary singer-songwriter was nominated.

"From its inception, Rock and Roll has had deep roots in Rhythm & Blues and Country music. It is not defined by any one genre, rather a sound that moves youth culture," the statement continues. "Dolly Parton's music impacted a generation of young fans and influenced countless artists that followed. Her nomination to be considered for induction into to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame followed the same process as all other artists who have been considered."

The statement concludes by explaining that Parton is still on the ballot, which was sent out earlier in March to voters.

"Dolly's recommendation, along with the other 16 nominees for the class of 2022 was sent out earlier this month to our 1,200 general ballot voters, the majority of whom are artists themselves, for consideration for induction at our ceremony," the statement concludes. "We are in awe of Dolly's brilliant talent and pioneering spirit and are proud to have nominated her for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame."

The nominees for the 2022 class of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame were announced in February. Parton was among 17 nominees announced through a press release on the morning of Feb. 2. Additional nominees include Pat Benetar, DEVO, Eurythmics, Rage Against The Machine, Eminem, Dionne Warwick, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, A Tribe Called Quest and Beck.

"This year's ballot recognizes a diverse group of incredible artists, each who has had a profound impact on the sound of youth culture," John Sykes, chairman of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation, said in a statement. "Their music not only moved generations, but also influenced the sound of countless artists that followed."

Ballots will be voted on by a group of artists, historians and members of the music industry. Voters consider each nominee's careers and influence on fellow artists. Fans can also vote on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame website  from now until April 30, 2022.

The 2022 inductees were announced on May 4. The induction ceremony will take place in the fall.

Parton's nomination is the latest in a long line of accolades. She's a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Songwriters Hall of Fame, Grammy Hall of Fame, the East Tennessee Hall of Fame and many more. She's also commemorated on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and the Music City Walk of Fame.

Parton recently released her new album Run Rose Run, a companion piece to the novel she wrote with renowned author James Patterson.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in March of 2022.  It was updated on May 5, 2022, following the news that Parton has been voted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 

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