“I’m a rock star now!”—these are the words Dolly Parton used to kick off her acceptance speech at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. It was a heartfelt moment her fans awaited for months, despite her initial hesitation to embrace her rock star status.
The country superstar made history as one of the rare artists to be inducted into both the Rock & Roll and Country Music Hall of Fame on Saturday night, but she was very close to not being one of this year’s honorees. When Rock Hall announced its nominees, she tried to bow out of the competition, but with little success.
“From its inception, rock and roll has had deep roots in rhythm & blues and country music. It is not defined by any one genre, rather a sound that moves youth culture. Dolly Parton’s music impacted a generation of young fans and influenced countless artists that followed,” the Rock Hall responded at the time, adding that the ballots have already been sent out.
Luckily for all of us, Parton eventually changed her mind. In her acceptance speech, she explained that she didn’t feel like she’s done enough to deserve to be inducted but added she was proud and honored to be there. She followed her acceptance speech with the performance of “Rockin’ Years” and the star-studded rendition of “Jolene”.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame welcomed new members on November 5, and the list of this year’s inductees included Eminem, Lionel Richie, Duran Duran, Eurythmics, Carly Simon, and Pat Benatar.