Earlier this week, Dolly Parton revealed in statement that she wanted to decline a potential induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, saying that she didn’t feel worthy and feared splitting votes for artists who she felt deserved to be in ahead of her. Despite her public statement, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has revealed they intend to keep the country legend in the running for a potential induction, also noting that voting was already underway by the voting panel members.
In her initial statement, Parton offered that she was “flattered and grateful” for the nomination, but explained, “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.”
Parton’s request drew praise from others in the industry, including Judas Priest’s Richie Faulkner who called it a “classy” move. “I think she recognizes her brand, and it didn’t necessarily fit into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” stated Faulkner, adding, “And I think it raises questions to what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s brand is as well.”
In response, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame issued their own statement revealing that they intended to keep Parton on the voting ballot despite her request to decline the nomination. In their post, they also addressed the oft-questioned definition of what fits “rock and roll” where their induction criteria are concerned.
Their statement reads as follows:
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. 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.
From its inception, Rock & Roll has had deep roots in Rhythm & Blues and Country music. It is not defined by any one genre, rather a sound that moves youth culture. Dolly Parton’s music impacted a generation of young fans and influenced countless artists that followed. Her nomination to be considered for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame followed the same process as all other artists who have been considered.
Dolly’s nomination, along with the other 16 for the class of 2022, was sent out earlier this month to our 1,200 general ballot voters, the majority of whom are artists themselves, for consideration for induction at our ceremony.
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 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.
Parton’s request to be removed from consideration is not the first time this has happened with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sex Pistols famously posted an open letter upon hearing of their nomination, stating, “Next to the Sex Pistols, rock ‘n’ roll and that Hall of Fame is a piss stain. Your museum. Urine in wine. We’re not coming. We’re not your monkey and so what?” The band was still inducted that year though nobody showed. Other artists have also declined to show for their induction for assorted reasons over the years as well.
While the voting body nominations are kept private, there is a “fan vote” ballot where fans can vote for their favorite nominees. The Top 5 picks are then submitted as a sole ballot amongst the final tally. At present, Parton ranks fourth in fan voting with over 292,000 votes.