Dolly Parton Says She’s a ‘Rock Star Now’ in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Speech

by Clayton Edwards
(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images)

Dolly Parton has collected many titles over the years. She’s a singer, songwriter, author, actress, and philanthropist just to name a few. While Dolly doesn’t agree with the sentiment, many call her the Queen of Country Music. On Saturday, November 5th, Dolly added another title to the already-long list. Now, the East Tennessee native is officially a rock star.

When the world learned that Dolly Parton was nominated for the 2022 class of inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, she didn’t think she deserved the honor. She went so far as to take to social media to request that she be removed from the ballot. However, the voters saw things differently. When she stepped up to the podium at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles, Parton was ready to accept the honor wholeheartedly. After thanking P!nk for her sweet introduction, Parton cried, “I’m a rock star now!” to cheers from the packed house.

During her brief speech, Dolly Parton addressed her initial reticence to accept the honor. “This is a very special night for me,” she said. “I’m sure a lot of you knew that back when they said they were gonna put me in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I didn’t feel like I had done enough to deserve that. I didn’t understand at the time that it’s about more than that. But, I’m just honored and so proud to be here tonight.”

Dolly Parton Rocks the Induction Ceremony

Looking back, it’s hard to ignore Dolly Parton’s rock star flare. From the early days of her career, there was something a little “extra” about her that made her stand out among other country icons. At the same time, it is impossible to discount her influence outside of the country music world. On that stage, Dolly showed the world – and possibly, herself – that she truly is a rock star.

She treated the crowd to a song from her upcoming and as yet untitled rock album. In “Rockin’” Dolly Parton reflects on how the early greats of rock influenced her. She name-drops Elvis, Carl Perkins, Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, and Little Richard in the opening verse. “I’ve been rockin’, rockin’,rockin’ since the day I was born. / I’ll be rockin’, rockin’, rockin’ ‘til the day I’m gone. / I still got rock and roll down in my country soul,” she sings in the chorus.

Between her new song and her stunning leather bodysuit, Dolly proved that she is, in fact, a rock star. If there was any doubt, the final performance of the night erased it. Most of the class of 2023 including Judas Priest vocalist Rob Halford and icon Pat Benatar joined Parton onstage to perform “Jolene.”