Parton made the remarks Friday while appearing on NPR’s “Morning Edition,” as the host pointed out that she had not actually been removed from the ballot, and asked what she’ll do if the voters move to put her in the hall despite her declared wishes..
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“Well, I’ll accept gracefully,” she said. “I will say ‘thanks’ and accept that.”
Parton indicated that, when she made her previous statement about wanting to decline the honor, she didn’t realize that there were already so many artists from other genres that are only rock-adjacent already in the hall.
“When i said that, It was always my belief that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was for the people in rock music. And I have found out lately it’s not necessarily that. But if they can’t go there to be recognized, where do they go? And so I felt like I would be taking away from someone that maybe deserved it, certainly more than me since I never considered myself a rock artist. But obviously, there’s more to it than that.”
The country-pop superstar may have miscalculated in earlier apparently believing that she could have herself removed from the ballot. The Hall of Fame responded to Parton’s statement at the time by saying that it would not be taking her off, and that it would follow the will of the 1,000-plus industry-pro voters to whom the ballot had already gone out.
How Parton’s previous statement asking to be recused might have played out will soon be seen. Parton was considered a shoo-in when the nominees were first announced, and after she said she’d like to bow out, some members of the voting rolls said online that they were honoring her wishes, while others said they were voting for her anyway.
The results will be announced in May, to be followed by an induction ceremony in October.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has dozens of prior inductees that are not primarily identified with rock as a genre, from Madonna to Whitney Houston, although it has been slower to induct country artists than R&B, pop and hip-hop acts. Johnny Cash is among the few core country artists that have gotten in, apart from the hall putting pioneers in via the side door of “Early Influences” inductions.
In her March 14 statement, Parton had said she wanted to be recused, make a long-discussed project that was in more of an outrightly rock vein, and then be reconsidered. “I do hope that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will understand and be willing to consider me again — if I’m ever worthy,” she wrote in a social media message at the time. “This has, however, inspired me to put out a hopefully great rock & roll album in the future, which I have always wanted to do.” The Hall of Fame announced a few days later that the nom would stand: “Dolly’s nomination, along with the other 16 for the Class of 2022, was sent out earlier this month to our 1,100 general ballot voters, the majority of whom are artists themselves, 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.”
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