Dolly Parton turned down her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination

I enjoy the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductions each year but if I’m being honest, I get confused by the nominations. Some because an artist gets nominated with their band and then as a solo act and some because I assumed they’d already been inducted. Mostly, I don’t know what the qualifications are. All I know is they had to have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years ago. I guess there’s some controversy that’s been growing in the RRHOF for a while, with some questioning if those being nominated are rockin’ enough? One person did not think so, Dame Dolly Parton. Only it was herself that she was contesting.

Back in February, 17 nominees were announced. They are: Pat Benatar, Kate Bush, Judas Priest, New York Dolls, Beck, Devo, MC5, Eminem, Rage Against the Machine, Fela Kuti, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, A Tribe Called Quest, Dionne Warwick and Dolly Parton. Can we just pause a moment to think about how amazing the concert would be if all of those people got on stage together? Alas, only five will be voted in. On Monday, Dolly announced she’s removing her name from consideration on the grounds that she does not have a solid rock & roll catalogue. But typical Dolly, she’s decided this is the just the motivation she needs to produce the perfect rock album. She posted her decision on social media. Her statement read:

Dolly here! 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.
I do hope that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will understand and be willing to consider me again—if I’m ever worthy. This has, however, inspired me to put out a hopefully great rock ’n’ roll record 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. I wish all of the nominees good luck and thank you again for the compliment! Rock on!

I should be more familiar with Dolly’s catalogue for as much as I adore her as a person. But I agree with her from what I do know. I can’t think of very many pop, let alone rock, songs that she performs. She deserves to stand among the greats of country, but rock & roll? I’m sure she’s influenced many of those performers. Again, I’m a little fuzzy on the hows and whys of the nominations, but of the list above, Dolly does seem more of an outlier than not. And she is correct that she would have split the vote. People love Dolly. People would vote for her for just about anything, because voting for her makes us feel like there are still good things in the world. And even though there is an actual committee who voted for the Hall of Fame, there’s also a fan vote and it influences the committee. I wouldn’t have cared if she stayed on the ballot, but I have no problem with her removing herself. It was classy. I hope it really did inspire her to make a rock album. I hope all the other nominees beg her to be on it.

Now that Dolly has graciously bowed out, I can dedicate all my focus on Duran Duran. It’s like high school all over again.

Since the date and location of the Hall of Fame ceremony has yet to be announced, maybe they can thank Dolly by having it at one of her new luxury Dollywood resorts?

Photo credit Instar Images, Instagram and Twitter

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

14 Responses to “Dolly Parton turned down her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nomination”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. smcollins says:

    I am the furthest thing from a country music fan (at least modern country music) but I have loved Dolly since I was a little kid, she’s amazing. And I would definitely love to hear her do some rock because you just know she can bring it!

  2. liz says:

    I worship at the church of St Dolly, and I have to agree with her on this one. She’s not a Rock musician, by any stretch of the definition. Her catalog is a mile wide and a mile deep, but leans heavily into the pop end of country music.

    I would absolutely LOVE to see her record a true rock album. Let her go to work with Joan Jett and see what they can do together.

  3. Mia1066 says:

    It’s not strictly rock and roll, lots of artists from other genres have been inducted. And if they’re nominated, they should be considered. Lional Ritchie is as far from rock as dolly. Out of that group, pat benatar better make the cut.

    • HelloDolly! says:

      So, rock and roll and pop have been the best selling genres in the US for decades. The genres were almost a metonym of the US/west itself. I say this because I am curious: is that why the Rock and Roll Hall of fame has become representative of the US music industry in general with multiple genres? What’s fascinating is that hip hop is now the best selling genre!

  4. Lala11_7 says:

    I grew up in the 70s…so I was raised on…Alabama…The Oak Ridge Boys…Glen Campbell…Eddie Rabbit…Crystal Gayle…Mickey Gillis..The Mandrell Sisters…SO MUCH COUNTRY MUSIC…because in the 70s…Country was played on almost ALL of the FM stations and many of them had weekly variety shows & were often on talk shows. .

    Dolly & Kenny were NEXT LEVEL WITH IT…with Kenny Roger’s having Black folks thinking he was a R&B singer when he came out with Lionel Ritchie’s iconic “Lady” which was played on Black stations on repeat when it was released…and Dolly with “9-5″…That’s what I MISS about the 70s…there was WAY MORE fluidity between popular arts😍

    Though I understand Dolly’s positioning…it highlights the issue I ALWAYS had with the event et al being named “Rock & Roll Hall of Fame”…especially since it’s the one the whole industry has supported as the platinum standard…now I can focus on John/Simon/Nick…Pat…Kate… Judas…Annie/Dave & Dionne❤

  5. Mia4s says:

    Look I think Dolly should win the World Series, the Stanley Cup, and be in every Hall of Fame from Music to Hot Dogs…but I see her point.

    Dolly rock album? Would buy. 😁

  6. Cessily says:

    I love reading these articles on what an extraordinary woman she is. Wish others would follow her lead💞.

  7. Eurydice says:

    A good part of Dolly’s nomination is as a songwriter – “I Will Always Love You” is iconic and “9 to 5” has become an anthem. I remember reading somewhere that she’s written over 3,000 songs and about 500 have been recorded. You’re right that the criteria seem unclear, but I think it’s also about how influential an artist is – some of the country artists who are in the R&R Hall of Fame are there for their musicianship (like Jimmy Rodgers) or their over all style (like Johnny Cash), and most of the inductees don’t seem to be pure rock and roll. But, if Dolly doesn’t want it, that’s cool.

  8. Emily says:

    I didn’t realize the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame was actually that tied to the rock genre anymore. I mean, I love Eminem, but he isn’t rock either.

  9. Twin Falls says:

    How is Dolly so good at life, always? She never misses.

  10. Luna17 says:

    The Rock Hall of Fame is a horrible organization and treats artists like garbage. It’s all politics and money. I think this was Dolly kindly saying to F off with your bs awards.

  11. Lala says:

    Good for Dolly! I agree with her. And Pat Benatar should already be in! Fingers crossed.

  12. AnneL says:

    I didn’t think I could love her any more than I do! What a gracious and humble human being, especially for someone with the voice of an angel.