Dolly Parton Officially Joins Rock & Roll Hall of Fame: ‘I Guess I’m A Rock Star Now!’

Dolly Parton; Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Dolly Parton; Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Dolly Parton; Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Dolly Parton is officially a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. 

The East Tennessee was among the 2022 class inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Saturday evening (Nov. 5) alongside Eminem, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, Pat Benatar and more.

The star-studded induction ceremony was filmed at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles and will premiere on Saturday, November 19 via HBO.

P!nk inducted Parton into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame from the Microsoft Theater stage. 

“Dolly you’re amazing,” she told her. “You bring people together and you put so much light and joy into the world and we all love you so much and I am beyond honored… It is my pleasure to induct you into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame”  

“I guess I’m a rock star now!” Parton declared as she took the stage. 

“This is a very special night for me,” Parton said. “I’m sure a lot of you knew that back when they said they were gonna put me in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I didn’t really feel like I had done enough to deserve that. And I didn’t understand at the time that it’s about more than that. But I’m just honored and so proud to be here tonight.”

Following her speech and after an outfit change, Parton delivered the live debut of an unreleased new rock song called “Rockin’,” which is set to appear on her yet-to-be-announced rock album.

“Well, I figured if I’m going to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I’m going to have to earn it,” Parton said with an electric guitar in hand. “And you thought I couldn’t rock!”

Dolly Parton, Zac Brown; Photo by JB Rowland courtesy Dolly Parton Productions
Dolly Parton, Zac Brown; Photo by JB Rowland courtesy Dolly Parton Productions

Donning a black leather ensemble complete with chains, Parton performed the new tune alongside Zac Brown Band’s Zac Brown and Kent Wells, who will be producing her forthcoming rock project. 

The song finds Parton giving a shout out to several Rock & Roll icons and admitting that while she’s a country girl at heart, she’s been rockin’ ever since the day she was born. 

“I grew up lovin’ Elvis, and wild-man Jerry Lee / Chuck Berry, Little Richard / They all cast a spell on me / Carl Perkins and those blue suede shoes had no place on the farm… I was just a child, but I went hog-wild / For the rhythm and the beat,” Parton sings in the chorus. “I’ve been rockin’, rockin’, rockin’ since the day I was born / I’ll be rockin’ till the day I’m gone / I still got rock ‘n’ roll down in my country soul / And I’ll be rockin’ till the cows come home.”

The show concluded with Parton and a star-studded group of friends, including P!nk, Pat Benatar, Eurythmics’ Annie Lennox, Sheryl Crow, Dave Stewart, Simon Le Bon, Brandi Carlile, and Judas Priest’s Rob Halford, performing the country music legend’s iconic hit, “Jolene.”

P!nk and Carlile also paid tribute to Parton during the ceremony with a special tribute performance of “Coat Of Many Colors.” 

Dolly Parton joins an elite group of music icons, including Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins, Bill Monroe, and Brenda Lee, to earn a spot in both the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame. 

In March of 2022, the “9 to 5” singer respectfully declined, asking for her nomination to be withdrawn. The Rock Hall nomination marked Parton’s first after more than 30 years of eligibility.

“Even though I am extremely flattered and grateful to be nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I don’t feel that I have earned that right,” she said. “I really do not want votes to be split because of me, so I must respectfully bow out.”

During an interview with NPR, Dolly Parton shared that she would “accept gracefully.” She explained that she initially thought that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was solely for Rock artists, however, she later learned that it’s not always the case.

“I just felt like I would be taking away from someone that maybe deserved it, certainly more than me because I never considered myself a rock artist,” she said. “But obviously, there’s more to it than that.”

“Of course I will accept it gracefully,” Parton previously shared in a statement. “Thanks to everyone that voted for me and to everyone at the @rockhall. I will continue to work hard and try to live up to the honor.”

Parton is currently in the process of writing and recording her forthcoming rock album.

“When I got nominated for the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, I thought ‘Well, no better time to do it,’” Parton recently told Pollstar. “I had always wanted to do it. My husband is a big hard rock ‘n’ roll fan, and for years I thought, “One of these days I’d like to do an album mainly just for him, just to kind of do it.” When I got nominated, I thought, “Why not just go ahead and do it while the iron’s hot? Maybe have some of the greats, the legends of rock ‘n’ roll sing along with me.”

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