Dolly Parton can’t say goodbye, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame declares

The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame will always love Dolly Parton.

Earlier this week, the 76-year-old country music singer announced in an Instagram post that she must “respectfully retire from nominees for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” but the institution has declined to say the ” Jolene” to take. Singers from the 2022 ballot.

“We are in awe of Dolly’s brilliant talent and pioneering spirit and are proud to have nominated her for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” the RRHOF Foundation said in a statement released Thursday.

Part of the problem is that Parton’s name was already on ballots sent out before her retirement, and she’s currently fourth in the official fan poll – behind Duran Duran, Eminem and Pat Benatar. With voting already underway, Parton made it difficult for Parton to simply withdraw on Monday, despite believing she “didn’t deserve that right.”

“Dolly’s recommendation, along with the other 16 nominees for the Class of 2022, was sent earlier this month to our 1,200 universal voters, most of whom are artists themselves, for consideration at our ceremony,” the foundation said.

Nonetheless, RRHOF applauded Parton for such a magnanimous move.

Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton hosted the Academy of Country Music Awards on March 7th.
Getty Images for ACM

“All of us in the music community have seen Dolly Parton’s thoughtful note expressing her feelings that she does not deserve the right to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,” the statement said. “Besides her incredible talent as an artist, her humility is another reason why Dolly is a beloved icon of millions of fans around the world.”

In addition to Parton, Duran Duran, Eminem and Benatar, other nominees include Lionel Richie, A Tribe Called Quest, Rage Against the Machine, Dionne Warwick, Carly Simon, Judas Priest, Beck, Kate Bush, Devo, the Eurythmics, Fela Kuti, MC5 and the New York Dolls.

“I really don’t want votes to be divided because of me,” Parton said of competing with other artists, who she feels are more “rock ‘n’ roll,” a genre she now wants to explore.

Judas Priest guitarist Richie Faulkner, for example, appreciated the graceful gesture. “I think it was a really stylish move,” he told the Rock of Nations With Dave Kinchen podcast. “I think she recognizes her brand and she didn’t necessarily fit into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. And I think it also raises questions about what the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame brand is.”

Still, Parton wouldn’t be the first country artist to make it into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins and Hank Williams have all been included, as have country-heavy acts like Brenda Lee.

“From the beginning, rock ‘n’ roll had deep roots in rhythm and blues and country music,” the statement said. “It’s not a genre, it’s a sound that moves youth culture.”

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