Dolly Parton Speaks on What It’s Like To Be Called an ‘Icon’

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

There’s no arguing that Dolly Parton is a country music icon. But what exactly is it like to be on the receiving end of that label? Dolly Parton spoke out about what it’s like to boast that status and what exactly it means to her.

CMT reports Dolly Parton appeared on an episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, hosted by the award-winning talk show host herself, to speak about her new rock album. While there, she also spoke about her long-held honorary status. After Kelly Clarkson pointed out the overuse of the word “icon” today, versus how country music fans use it to describe icons like Dolly Parton, the “Two Doors Down” singer joked, “Well, I always think of myself more as an eyesore than an icon.”

More seriously, though, she continued, “Not actually.” She explained, “I used to think when I was young, if I made like I’d hoped I would, how people would remember me when I was older. Now I’m older, and it’s really nice to look back and think that I might have done something that’s helped inspire.”

How Dolly Parton Found Her Way Into the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame:

Dolly Parton remains an icon within her home genre. However, she has also left an impression on the world of rock and roll. And it’s for that reason that the longtime Country Music Hall of Famer also (reluctantly) saw her way into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Reflecting on her induction, Dolly Parton explained why she was so hesitant to accept icon status within another genre.

“When into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or when they talked about that, I didn’t realize it was more than just that,” Dolly Parton continued. “To me, I’d always thought about the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame being for people that spend their lives in rock music, like country music…So, when they first said that…I thought, ‘well, I don’t know that I belong there.'”

However, she explained that she realized the Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame also recognizes icons that inspire the genre.

“Later,” Parton continued, “I saw that it was for people also that have influenced other people.” And so, she accepted the nomination.

“I was very honored,” the country hitmaker concluded.

Upcoming Rock Album is Likely One of the Icon’s Best

Though Dolly Parton helped forge a path for women in the country music genre, her dive into rock has been a meaningful experience for her. She revealed during a recent TV appearance that her upcoming rock album may be her best work yet.

“I really think it’s some of the best work I’ve ever done,” Dolly Parton told TODAY‘s Hoda Kotb. “I think so. Only because it’s different for me, I wanted it to be good.”