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Why Did Dolly Parton Withdraw Her Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2022 Nomination?

Dolly Parton in Netflix's Heartstrings.

Dolly Parton made headlines recently when she withdrew herself from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2022 nominations. The news was met with some surprise, but also much admiration. Parton managed to restore just a bit of faith in humanity with her selfless decision.

Parton was among 17 nominees for the 2022 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Of the 17 nominees, voters will determine just 5 to be inducted into the 2022 class. Parton’s nomination came alongside nominees such as Eminem, Judas Priest, Lionel Richie, and Rage Against The Machine.

This marked Parton’s first nomination for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. She was previously inducted into the Country Hall of Fame in 1999. While Parton is a singer, songwriter, author, actress, and philanthropist, she has gained the most recognition for her country music. As one of the most honored female country musicians, she boasts 11 Grammy Awards and 51 Grammy nominations. She’s also one of very few individuals to have been nominated for at least one Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony in her lifetime. However, she doesn’t want Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee added to her impressive resume, at least not yet.

Why did Dolly Parton withdraw her nomination?

On March 14, Parton took to Instagram to announce her decision to withdraw. She expressed that she was very flattered by the nomination. However, she didn’t feel that she had earned the right to be nominated. Hence, she withdrew her nomination to refrain from taking away votes from other nominees.

Parton personally doesn’t believe that her music, thus far, has been a huge contribution to the rock n’ roll world. This is likely because she is most well-known as a country music icon and has only dabbled in rock n’ roll. However, she is far from the only country music singer to be nominated for, and inducted into, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Johnny Cash, Chet Ankins, and Hank Williams, are several primarily country artists whom preceded Parton in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations. The only real formal criteria an artist needs to meet to qualify for a nomination, is for it to have been at least 25 years since their first record was released.

While Parton’s nomination meets the criteria and is similar to the nomination of other country legends before her, her withdrawal is understandable. She indicated that her nomination inspired her to do something she’s long thought about doing: releasing a genuine rock n’ roll album. Parton is simply ensuring that her nomination is well earned. She has not released a solely rock n’ roll album and it is something she’s still pushing herself to accomplish.

Once she has made her official debut in rock n’ roll, she will accept another nomination should it be offered. However, for now, Parton simply doesn’t want to take away from other true rock n’ roll artists, when she hasn’t yet met her own personal criteria for being considered a rock n’ roll contributor.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame response

dolly parton

Parton’s withdrawal sets a strong example of a true artist who boasts humility, class, and honesty. No one would have challenged her nomination had she accepted it. Dolly is a legend in all that she does. However, she felt she hadn’t met the standards she set for herself as an artist and admitted to that. Were that we all so wise.

While her withdrawal was commendable, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will not pull her nomination. In a statement shared to Twitter, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame officials commended Parton for her humility. However, they explained that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has deep roots in Rhythm & Blues and Country music, and that rock n’ roll is not defined by one sound or genre. Parton was chosen particularly for her impact on a generations of fans and countless artists. They indicated her nomination has already been sent out ballot voters and they stand proudly by their decision to nominate her.

Their statement is correct that Parton is more than deserving and eligible for the award. However, this creates a tricky situation if Parton is inducted into the Rock and Role Hall of Fame by voters. Will be she be forced to accept the induction, as well? Parton laid down very well why she withdrew from the nomination and it has a lot to do with how she defines her work as an artist. Her definition of herself as an artist and her knowledge of how much more she could accomplish in the rock n’ roll genre should not be so easily dismissed.

(featured image: Tina Rowden/Netflix)

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Rachel Ulatowski is a Freelance Writer, blogger, and aspiring author. As a Freelancer Writer she hopes to give readers the same comfort and enjoyment that she finds in all things nerdy and noteworthy, as a blogger she enjoys snarking on YouTubers and reality stars, and as a future novelist she hopes to raise awareness for child abuse through literature.