Dolly Parton does not believe she is rock ‘n’ roll enough to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
After receiving her first nomination for the annual award in February, the country singer, renowned for crossover successes such as “Jolene,” “I Will Always Love You,” and “9 to 5,” said on Monday that she requested to be withdrawn from contention for the award.
In a statement shared on social media, Parton said, “Even though I am exceedingly thrilled and happy to have been nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I do not believe that I have earned that privilege.” Because I do not want votes to be divided as a result of my presence, I must politely withdraw my name from consideration.
A request for comment from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum was not immediately returned. As of last month, the selection process was already underway, and it was unclear what would happen to any prospective votes for Parton that had already been placed.
Others who defy the traditional definition of rock music were among the 17 nominees eligible for inclusion alongside Parton, including Eminem, A Tribe Called Quest, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, Dionne Warwick, and Kate Bush, as well as bands such as Judah Priest, Rage Against the Machine, and the New York Dolls. Parton was the only female nominee.
Ballots were sent out in February to the more than 1,000 musicians, historians, and music industry professionals who vote for their top five inductees each year, with the winners — who normally number between five and seven in total — set to be revealed in May, according to the organisation. The induction ceremony for this year was scheduled for the autumn.
When voting for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, voters are asked to examine an act’s musical impact as well as the “length and depth” of their career, in addition to “innovation and excellence in style and technique.” Following years of criticism for its treatment of female and Black musicians, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has lately broadened its scope to include performers from rap, pop, R&B, and beyond, including Whitney Houston, Janet Jackson, Jay-Z, and the Notorious B.I.G., to name a few notable examples. Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, and Brenda Lee are among the artists who have been inducted into both the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum described Parton as a “living icon and a symbol of female strength” on its website, adding that her “unapologetic femininity belied her savvy economic acumen, which was an advantage in the male-dominated music industry.”
Only 7.7 percent of the organization’s approximately 900 inductees were female, according to a study conducted in 2019.
Other musicians have refused to be inducted into the club in the past, including John Lydon, better known as Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, who refused to attend the band’s induction in 2006, leading to the band’s decision not to perform. When Guns ‘n Roses were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, Axl Rose said that he would refuse to participate and begged that he not be honoured in his absence. Regardless, both performers were inducted.