Dolly Parton inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame despite her initial decision to ‘respectfully bow out’

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Dolly Parton was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Wednesday despite the country music icon’s last-minute plea to “respectfully bow out.”

The 2022 class includes Eminem, who was inducted in his first year of eligibility, as well as Duran Duran, Pat Benatar, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon and Eurythmics.

Benatar, 69, has been eligible for induction since 2004 but didn’t receive her first nomination until 2020. As for Simon, 76, she’s been eligible since 1997.

In addition to the performer category, Judas Priest will receive the Musical Excellence Award alongside Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. Harry Belafonte and Elizabeth Cotton will receive the Early Influence Award.


Dolly Parton joins Eminem and Lionel Richie in this year’s class of 2022.
(Getty Images)

Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first commercial recording.

The honorees, who were voted on by more than 1,000 artists, historians and music industry professionals, “each have a profound impact on the sound of youth culture and helped change the course of rock ‘n’ roll,” said John Sykes, the chairman of the Rock Hall in a statement.

Parton made headlines in March after saying she was “extremely flattered and grateful to be nominated,” but didn’t feel that she had “earned that right” to be recognized as a rock artist over other performers. As a result, she wanted to “respectfully bow out.” But by then, ballots had already been sent out to voters.

In response, the Rock Hall announced that they weren’t backing down, explaining that the organization was “not defined by any one genre.” They pointed out that it had deep roots in country music, as well as rhythm and blues.


Dolly Parton thought other artists were more deserving of a nomination to the Rock Hall of Fame.
(Jack Plunkett/Invision/AP)

Last week, the 76-year-old said she would accept her induction after all, if it came to fruition.

“It was always my belief that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame was for the people in rock music, and I have found out lately that it’s not necessarily that,” she explained to NPR.

“… 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 added.

Some of the artists passed over this year include Kate Bush, DEVO, New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine and Dionne Warwick.


Dolly Parton was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999.
(Jim Smeal/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

The 37th annual induction ceremony will be held on Nov. 5 at Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. It will then air at a later date on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max.

Parton isn’t the first artist inducted whose music isn’t rock. It’s been noted that, in recent years, inductees and nominees have strayed from the music genre. The Notorious B.I.G. was in the class of 2020 while Jay-Z was inducted in 2021.

The “Jolene” artist was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999. She was announced as one of this year’s nominees in February. She now joins country artists, such as Johnny Cash, Chet Atkins and Hank Williams, in the Rock Hall.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.