Dolly Parton Drops Out of the Running for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction

"I don't feel that I have earned that right"

BY Megan LaPierrePublished Mar 14, 2022

Dolly Parton being among this year's crop of nominees for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction felt like a moment of small – relatively inconsequential, but still undeniably good — justice. When the big-haired big sweetheart said she would "immediately" release a rock album if inducted, the celebration only intensified — but it seems as though the beloved singer-songwriter, vaccination benefactor and fiction author has had a change of heart: she has announced that she's respectfully bowing out of the race.

Parton took to Twitter today to share the news in a statement, writing:

Dolly here! Even though I am extremely flattered and grateful to be nominated for the Rock and 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.

I do hope that the Rock and 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. Rock on!

Rock may be in the eye of the beholder, but there are guiding principles for determining hall-of-famers: nominees for the Rock Hall are selected by an international voting body of more than 1,000 historians, artists and members of the music industry who obviously thought Parton was deserving of the honour (even if she's too humble to see it).

An artist needs to have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years before the nominal year to be eligible, and are assessed by additional criteria such as level of innovation, stylistic superiority, influence on other artists, and length and depth of career.

Parton is among the 17 musicians nominated for 2022 induction, six of which are fellow first-time nominees, including A Tribe Called Quest, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, Beck, Duran Duran and Eminem — so she's certainly not the only nominee that doesn't make "rock music" in the traditional sense. But what even is that, really?

It's also worth noting that the genre developed out of an electrified mix of elements derived from R&B, jazz and, crucially, country music. All we know for certain is that we can't wait to hear "rock 'n' roll freak" Dolly.

See the country star's statement below.
Recently, Parton's co-owned Dollywood theme park and resort in Tennessee announced that it would pay 100 percent of all employees' tuition.

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