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Rock & Roll Hall of Fame says Dolly Parton earned her nomination – despite what she thinks

Dolly Parton on new project, long career
Dolly Parton on her birthday, new cake partnership and staying busy seven decades into her career 08:18

Dolly Parton pulled herself out of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominations earlier this week, saying she isn't worthy since she's never made a rock 'n' roll album. But the Hall of Fame says she's earned the right to the honor and that rock 'n' roll is not defined by any one genre.

While the country music icon and philanthropist said she was "extremely flattered and grateful" to be nominated, she didn't want the votes to be split because of her nomination. So, she respectfully bowed out.

Now the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, which nominated 17 artists this year — including Parton, rapper Eminem and R&B singer Lionel Richie — has responded. 

"All of us in the music community have seen Dolly Parton's thoughtful note expressing her feeling that she has not earned the right to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation said in a statement. "In addition to her incredible talent as an artist, her humility is another reason Dolly is a beloved icon by millions of fans around the world."

Rock 'n' roll has deep roots in R&B and country music and is "a sound that moves youth culture," the statement noted, adding that Parton's music "impacted a generation of young fans and influenced countless artists that followed." 

The country icon's nomination followed the same process as all other artists who have been considered. Nominated artists are often not traditional rock 'n' roll stars. This year, 80s pop duo Eurythmics is nominated. Last year's inductees included rapper Jay-Z.

In her statement, Parton said she hopes the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will understand and be willing to consider her again — if she ever records a rock 'n' roll album, which she said she hopes to do.

The Hall of Fame, however, said Parton's nomination, along with the other 16 nominated artists, was sent out earlier this month to 1,200 general ballot voters, and she remains in contention.

"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 statement said. 

Of the 17 nominees this year, voters can choose five to be inducted into the 2022 class. It appears Parton could still be one of the five chosen, even if she is too humble to accept. 

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