Dolly Parton, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee? Thank you but not yet, she says

A woman in a yellow cowboy hat plays a guitar onstage at an awards show
Dolly Parton has politely declined her nomination to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
(John Locher / Associated Press)

Dolly Parton has taken herself out of the running for membership in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, at least this time around, saying she hasn’t “earned that right” but also noting that a future nomination would be cool “if I’m ever worthy.”

Makes sense: Although the “9 to 5” singer has had country and pop hits and has recorded songs with rock elements over the years (Exhibit A), she’s never made an album with, say, Def Leppard.

“Dolly here!,” the country star wrote Monday on social media. “Even though I am extremely flattered and grateful to be nominated for the Rock & 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.”


A representative for the Hall did not respond immediately to a request for comment Monday morning.

The country music star is everywhere these days. And she’s determined to bridge our seemingly countless divides.

Nov. 13, 2019

The nominees for 2022 were announced in early February and included new names Beck, Eminem, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, Duran Duran and A Tribe Called Quest, as well as previous nominees Pat Benatar, Kate Bush, Devo, Eurythmics, Judas Priest, Fela Kuti, the MC5, the New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine and Dionne Warwick.

In May 2021, Foo Fighters, the Go-Go’s, Jay-Z, Carole King, Todd Rundgren and Tina Turner were chosen from among the nominees to be inducted into the Hall.

Just months before that, in February 2021, Parton was thanking legislators in her home state of Tennessee for proposing that a statue of her be built on the grounds of the state capitol, but also declined that honor.

“Given all that is going on in the world, I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time,” she wrote at the time. “I hope, though, that somewhere down the road several years from now or perhaps after I’m gone if you still feel I deserve it, then I’m certain I will stand proud in our great State Capitol as a grateful Tennessean.”

Country queen Dolly Parton nixed the idea of a statue erected at the Tennessee Capitol: “I don’t think putting me on a pedestal is appropriate at this time.”

Feb. 18, 2021

Axl Rose previously rejected induction into the Rock Hall, writing in an April 2012 letter, “I respectfully decline my induction as a member of Guns N’ Roses to the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. I strongly request that I not be inducted in absentia and please know that no one is authorized nor may anyone be permitted to accept any induction for me or speak on my behalf.”


Rose and the rest of the band, who fell out in the mid-1990s, apparently couldn’t reach detente about how to accept the honor. “Since the announcement of the nomination we’ve actively sought out a solution to what, with all things considered, appears to be a no win, at least for me, ‘damned if I do, damned if I don’t’ scenario all the way around,” Rose wrote.

The rest of Guns N’ Roses was inducted into the Hall three days after the letter went wide. Green Day singer Billie Joe Armstrong, who gave the band’s introductory speech, had to combat boos the night of the ceremony when Rose’s name was mentioned, telling the crowd, “Shut up. He was the greatest frontman to ever step in front of a microphone.” After a pause, Armstrong added, “But he is ... crazy. And I can vouch for that.”

‘I was kind of a little butterball ... Now I’m string cheese,’ Dolly Parton said after re-creating her 1978 Playboy magazine cover for her husband’s birthday.

July 21, 2021

Parton’s break with Hall protocol appears to be rooted in much less angst.

“I do hope that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will understand and be willing to consider me again — if I’m ever worthy,” the 76-year-old continued in her post Monday. “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.”

Parton wished good luck for all of the remaining nominees. And, she wrote, “thank you again for the compliment. Rock on!”

The Rock Hall’s 2022 inductees will be announced in May, with a ceremony to take place in the fall.