Dolly Parton Opens Up About Why She Opted Out of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

by Chris Haney
(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ACM)

On Thursday, country music icon Dolly Parton addressed the decision to opt out of her Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nomination. During a recent interview to promote her new book, Parton opened up about not feeling like she had “earned the right” to be included in the Rock Hall.

Parton shared a statement on Monday announcing that she intended to remove her name from this year’s list of nominees. She and co-author James Patterson joined Fox and Friends yesterday to talk about their new book, Run, Rose, Run. While promoting the book though, host Steve Doocy asked the legendary singer about her Hall of Fame decision. Parton said her music career would feel a bit “out of place” within the walls of the Rock Hall.

“I didn’t feel exactly right about [being nominated],” Dolly Parton said during the interview. “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.”

Even though Parton doesn’t think she fits the mold of the Rock Hall, many have argued she would fit right in. The rock music institution has inducted many other artists that fall within the country music genre. Those include artists like Johnny Cash, Bonnie Raitt, Chet Atkins, and Hank Williams to name a few. Dolly Parton admits she’s heard the arguments since she declined the nomination, but it doesn’t sound like she’ll be changing her mind anytime soon.

“I’ve been educated since then, saying that it’s more than [just for rock musicians],” Parton added. “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.”

Dolly Parton ‘Respectfully’ Bows Out of Rock Hall Consideration

On Monday, Dolly Parton posted on social media about her 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nomination. It’s a huge honor and one that she appreciated greatly. But the “Jolene” singer also didn’t think she deserved to be recognized by the institution. Additionally, she didn’t want the votes to get split because of her inclusion on the list.

Therefore Dolly Parton graciously bowed out and asked that the institution remove her from consideration. However, she did leave the door open for a future nomination. Parton said she’s always wanted to create a rock album, which would make her feel more qualified for the induction.

In fact, she said the nomination inspired her to create a rock album “at some point in the future.” Dolly’s husband, Carl Dean, is a big rock music fan himself. He’s even encouraged his longtime wife to make a rock album in the past. So you never know, we might just see Parton at the top of the rock charts in the near future. Yet she may not have as much of a say in her Rock & Roll Hall of Fame fate as she thought.

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Leaving It Up to Voters to Decide

Although Dolly Parton has asked to be removed from consideration, the institution has basically ignored the request. Her name is still on the list, and her induction now rests on the fans and how they vote.

“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 Rock Hall said in a statement, according to USA Today. “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.”

Voting is already underway, so the music institution is letting the nomination ride for now. As for Parton, she has not responded to the Rock Hall’s recent comments about her request. She currently sits in fourth place, according to the votes. Dolly trails only Eminem, Duran Duran, and Pat Benatar on the list of 17 candidates.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will reveal its final list of 2022 inductees in May, and the induction ceremony will take place later this fall. Will Dolly Parton make the cut, and if she does will she show up to the ceremony? We’ll have to wait and see.