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Rock & Roll Hall of Fame responds to Dolly Parton declining nomination

The country superstar graciously declined to be included on the ballot, but that's not the end of the story.
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/ Source: TODAY

You might have already heard that Dolly Parton was included on the recent ballot of potential inductees to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and that Parton — ever the lady — declined the inclusion graciously.

But that's not how this particular story ends, because on Thursday the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation issued a statement that pretty much declined her declining.

"All of us in the music community have seen Dolly Parton’s thoughtful note expressing her feeling that she has not earned the right to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame," said the statement received by TODAY. "In addition to her incredible talent as an artist, her humility is another reason Dolly is a beloved icon by millions of fans around the world."

In a statement posted on Parton's Instagram page on Monday, the singer wrote, "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. I really do not want votes to be split because of me, so I must respectfully bow out."

But the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Foundation appeared to disagree with her suggestion that she wasn't really part of the rock genre, noting in its statement that rock has "deep roots" in rhythm and blues and country music.

"Dolly Parton’s music impacted a generation of young fans and influenced countless artists that followed," the statement continued. "Her nomination to be considered for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame followed the same process as all other artists who have been considered."

While it is true that Parton, 76, is most closely associated with country music, she's had several mainstream hits over the years, including "9 to 5" and "Islands in the Stream" (with Kenny Rogers), both of which hit No. 1 on Billboard's adult contemporary charts.

57th Academy Of Country Music Awards - Show
Dolly Parton at the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas earlier this month.Kevin Winter / Getty Images for ACM

The foundation continued in its statement that Parton's nomination was one with 16 other artists, and the ballot was sent to 1,200 general ballot voters, "many of whom are artists themselves." The general public is also asked to vote for favorites, the top five of which will be tallied with the voters' to determine the inductees for 2022.

Individuals or bands must have released their first commercial recording at least 25 years before they are nominated. This year's slate includes names like Beck, Eminem, Duran Duran, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon and A Tribe Called Quest.

"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," the statement concluded.

In other words, Dolly, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will always love you!