Rock & Roll Hall of Fame keeps Dolly Parton on this year’s nominee list, despite her request to bow out

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CLEVELAND (NPR) — The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame said Thursday that it’s declining Dolly Parton’s request to bow out of this year’s nominations for the Hall of Fame class.

Dolly Parton presents the award for entertainer of the year at the 57th Academy of Country Music Award
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has declined Dolly Parton’s request to pull her nomination from this year’s nominee list. Here, Parton presents an award at the Academy of Country Music Awards on March 7. [John Locher | AP]
This week, the county music legend posted a statement to her social media accounts saying that while she was grateful to be nominated, she didn’t think she had necessarily “earned that right.”

“I really do not want votes to be split because of me, so I must respectfully bow out,” Parton said in her statement. “I do hope that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will understand and be willing to consider me again – if I’m ever worthy.”

However, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame said on Thursday that she will indeed remain on this year’s ballot, given that the voting process is well underway.

“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 its statement sent to NPR.

“Dolly’s nomination, along with the other 16 artists 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,” the foundation added.

The foundation said that officials were “in awe of Dolly’s brilliant talent and pioneering spirit” and are proud that she was nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

NPR reached out to Parton’s publicist with a request for comment but did not immediately hear back.

On Thursday, Parton appeared on Fox & Friends, where she addressed her decision to take herself off this year’s ballot.

“Well, I didn’t feel exactly right about that because [of] my perception and, I think, the perception of most of America. I just feel like that’s more for the people in rock music,” Parton said during her live TV interview.

“I’ve been educated since then, saying that it’s more than that, but I still didn’t feel right about it. It kind of would be like putting AC/DC in the Country Music Hall of Fame. That just felt a little out of place for me,” she added.

However, several country music artists have been included in previous Hall of Fame classes, including Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Brenda Lee and Chet Atkins.

The 76-year-old singer, who is the only country music artist on this year’s ballot, is among several first-time nominees for this year’s class, which also includes rapper Eminem, hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest and singer, songwriter and producer Lionel Richie.

To be eligible for nomination into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, artists or bands must have released their first commercial recording by 1996.

Fans can vote for their favorite musicians, and their votes will be tallied alongside ballots submitted by more than 1,000 artists, historians and music industry members worldwide.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation will announce this year’s class in May, and the class will formally be inducted in the fall.

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