Dolly Parton’s legacy can be viewed as a coat of many colors — she’s a singer, songwriter, actor, businesswoman, philanthropist and a lover of tattoos. But the country music superstar draws the line at being considered a rock star.
Parton officially announced Monday that she was withdrawing her 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nomination.
Parton posted that while she was “extremely flattered and grateful” to be nominated, but did not “feel that I earned that right” to be in the running.
“I do not want votes to be split because of me, so I must respectfully bow out,” Parton said. “I do hope that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will understand and be willing to consider me again — if I’m ever worthy.”
She also hinted at a new venture in her post, saying that the nomination has inspired her to “put out a hopefully great rock ‘n’ roll album at some point in the future.” She also said that her husband, Carl Dean, was a rock music “freak” that always encouraged her to make a rock album.
Although she withdrew her nomination, she wished good luck to the other nominees.
The Tennessee native made the short list of 2022 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees in February alongside other musicians including Devo, Duran Duran and Rage Against the Machine. Other 2022 nominees include Eminem, Lionel Richie and Dione Warwick, whose music would not be considered “rock” by traditional standards. But it seems that music fans may interpret the concept of “rock” less like Parton and more like Dave Grohl — who believes rock is more of an attitude than sound — because according to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame’s official fan vote ballot, Parton currently resides in fourth place among the nominees to be inducted with nearly 300,00 votes.
Ice Cube — who was inducted into the hall of fame along with his fellow N.W.A members Dr. Dre, MC Ren, DJ Yella and the late Eazy-E in 2016 — argued rock and roll is a versatile genre during his induction speech.
“Now, the question is, ’Are we rock and roll? And I say, ‘You goddamn right we rock and roll,’” Ice Cube said. “Rock and roll is not an instrument, rock and roll is not even a style of music. Rock and roll is a spirit. It’s a spirit. It’s been going since the blues, jazz, bebop, soul, R&B, rock and roll, heavy metal, punk rock and yes, hip-hop. And what connects us all is that spirit. … Rock and roll is not conforming to the people who came before you, but creating your own path in music and in life.”
This is also not the first time Parton has humbly turned down an attempt to honor her legacy. In 2021, when Tennessee state Rep. John Mark Windle (D) introduced a bill that called for a statue honoring Parton to be erected in Nashville. Parton quickly rebuffed the idea, saying it was “inappropriate.”