Thursday, December 7

Dolly Parton Bows Out of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominations

Legendary country-music star Dolly Parton said she is removing herself as a nominee for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

The 76-year-old singer-songwriter said in an Instagram post Monday that she is flattered and grateful to have been nominated but doesn’t feel she has “earned that right.”

“I do hope the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will understand and be willing to consider me again – if I’m ever worthy,” Ms. Parton wrote in the post, adding that she didn’t want votes to split because of her .

Ms. Parton, who broke onto the music scene in the 1960s, has recorded more than 50 studio albums. The Tennessee native has won at least 10 Grammys and garnered 51 nominations in a career that has spanned beyond music. The superstar’s appearances in films, television and, more recently, podcasts have given her a presence in nearly all facets of entertainment.

James Akenson, a professor at Tennessee Tech and co-chair of the International Country Music Conference, said he believes Ms. Parton might have opted out of the running because she doesn’t feel she set a permanent foot in the rock ‘n’ roll genre.

“Despite being a broadly loved cultural icon, she may well feel that hard-core Rock & Roll Hall of Fame members, the core demographic, would find it odd and inappropriate,” Mr. Akenson said. He added that she might also have declined the nomination so that other nominated artists could receive attention.

A spokesman for Ms. Parton said she wouldn’t be commenting further on her decision to withdraw.

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Ms. Parton was one of 17 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees this year. Others include Beck, Pat Benatar, Fela Kuti, Dionne Warwick, Rage Against the Machine, A Tribe Called Quest, Eminem, Lionel Richie and Duran Duran. Artists are eligible for nomination 25 years after their first commercial recording.

“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 when the nominations were announced .

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday. Its earlier statement cited Ms. Parton’s pop hits, including “Here You Come Again,” “9 to 5” and “Islands in the Stream” as well as her recordings of her with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris.

This isn’t the first accolade Ms. Parton has shied away from. She twice turned down the Presidential Medal of Freedom; the first time, she said, it was because her husband de ella was ill, and the second was because she did not want to travel due to Covid-19, she told NBC’s “Today” show in 2021.

In 2004, the Library of Congress awarded Ms. Parton the Living Legend medal. In 2005, she received the National Medal of Arts, the highest award given to artists by the US government, according to the Country Music Hall of Fame. She was celebrated at the Kennedy Center Honors the following year.

“With a remarkable, bigger-than-life persona, she manages to exude being down-home, self deprecating, humorous and approachable,” Mr. Akenson said. “It’s not surprising that she’s become a cultural icon.”

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In her message on Instagram Monday, Ms. Parton said her husband was a “rock ‘n’ roll freak” and has always encouraged her to do a song in that genre. “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!” she wrote.

Write to Talal Ansari at [email protected]

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