(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Country music icon Dolly Parton is officially a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member.
The singer-songwriter was inducted into the prestigious institution Saturday evening in Los Angeles. Parton initially rejected the nomination in May, but the Rock Hall proceeded with the voting process despite Parton’s humble request.
GRAMMY Award-winning artist Pink introduced Parton and reflected on her East Tennessee upbringing and philanthropic efforts. The songstress continued to admire Parton’s extraordinary “heartbreaking and soul-stirring songs.” Parton’s goddaughter Miley Cyrus, Kacey Musgraves, and Carrie Underwood appeared virtually to share a few words.
“There are few finer songwriters – male or female, that ever lived,” said Pink. “She writes about things that others would prefer to be swept under the rug.”
(Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
When Parton addressed the audience, she expressed her gratitude for the honor and previous request to remove her name from the ballot.
“I want to thank the Hall of Fame and all the people out there through all of these years. I’ve been doing it all my life, and I do love it. I’m very humbled by this,” declared Parton. “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 feel like I had done enough to deserve that. I didn’t understand at the time that it’s about more than that, but I’m just so honored and so proud to be here tonight.”
Following the speech, Parton changed into a Rock & Roll leather ensemble draped in chains to perform an unreleased track titled “Rockin’.” Parton performed the electrifying banger alongside Zac Brown Band.
“If I’m going to be the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I’m going to have to earn it,” she said with an ear-grabbing guitar strum. “And you thought I couldn’t rock & roll," added Parton with a smile.
The surprising number paid homage to legends like Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis – musicians that were initiated into the Hall in ’86.
“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,” sang Parton. “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.”
Ahead of the performance, Parton told Pollstar that the single was made specifically for the occasion and gave an update on her rock-centric record.
“It’s a fine little song, and it’s real rock-y, so I’ll have something fun to play off of, to ease some of the tension,” she explained to the publication. “When I got nominated for the Rock & Roll Hall of fame, I thought, ‘Well, no better time to do it.’ 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,” added Parton.
Following the tribute track, hitmakers Brandi Carlile, Pink, Sheryl Crow, Zac Brown Band, and fellow inductees Pat Benatar, Neil Giraldo, Duran Duran’s Simon Le Bon, Annie Lennox, Eurythmics, Rob Halford, Judas Priest joined Parton on stage to sing her 1973 hit “Jolene.”
With ZBB backing the legends, Parton jumped on the introduction – setting the tone for the performance. Pink tackled the first verse, and the star-studded lineup effortlessly harmonized on the signature and recognizable chorus.
Earlier in the night, Crow shared an upbeat rendition of “9 to 5” with Carlile, and Pink delivered “Coat of Many Colors.” The 2022 class also included Eminem, Duran Duran, Lionel Richie, Pat Benatar, Eurythmics, and Carly Simon.
The memorable affair will air on Nov. 19 on HBO and HBO Max.
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