Earlier this year, after Dolly Parton declined to be considered for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, she offered a straightforward explanation: “I don’t feel that I have earned that right.
And she had every right to. But we’ll get back to that here in a bit.
In her many decades as a singer, songwriter, actress, and artist, Dolly rightfully earned plenty of accolades. So many to count, but let’s start with more than 30 music awards, a Primetime Emmy, Kennedy Center Honors, and Time Magazine’s 2021 list of the 100 Most Influential People. Lest we forget she’s a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Three of her songs—“Coat of Many Colors,” “Jolene,” and “I Will Always Love You”—are in the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Can’t you see the girl is busy?
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame honor is but just one of the multitude of projects 2022 has in store for her longtime fans and admirers.
Dolly hit the bricks earlier this year with a creative schedule that dwarfs even the most ambitious of hitmakers.
In collaboration with best-selling author James Patterson, Little, Brown and Company released “Run, Rose, Run” which debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Seller list.
Left to Right: Dolly’s new album Run, Rose Run; Dolly prepping for her character in the movie version.
The novel, which is set in Nashville, is about a young woman who comes to country music’s capital city to pursue her music-making dreams. The source of her heart-wrenching songs is a brutal secret she has tried desperately to hide, but the past she has fled is reaching out to control her future—and it may destroy everything she has worked for.
“You cannot find a human on this planet who doesn’t love Dolly Parton. As female artists, if we are trying to look up to a role model, Dolly just fills all of those boxes. She’s a badass, she’s Dolly, she’s the queen of country music, she has music that is worldwide, generationally-spreading, she’s a philanthropist, she has such a good heart, she has such a good sense of humor, she is such a massive brand. When people hear ‘Dolly Parton’ who don’t even like country music or listen to country music, they still know who Dolly Parton is. It’s just like, ‘Thank you Dolly for being such an advocate, such a queen for our format and opening, hopefully, the world’s hearts to country music.’”Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Lindsay Ell, as told to COWGIRL during Stagecoach Country Music Festival, April, 2022
Simultaneously, Dolly released a companion album of the same title through her Butterfly Records label. The album also debuted at number one, this time on the Current Country albums, Americana/Folk, and Bluegrass charts.
Dolly prepping for her character in the movie version of Run, Rose, Run.
Alongside the album, Dolly also released the third single and lyric video for “Woman Up (And Take It Like A Man)”–a fiery, inspirational track about not giving up and taking your place at the table when others doubt you.
“I just think this song really suits both of the female characters in the book,” Dolly says. “If you’re going to be in this business you’ve got to toughen up! You gotta ‘woman up and take it like a man’–be as good as or better than all these men…managers, record label folks and these other characters that give them a hard time in the story. So, this was one song that I think is kind of like another “9 to 5,” I had all female voices on that one and I think it came out really good!”
Working 9 to 5 with Lily and Jane.
Going even further with the seminal project, Hello Sunshine Partners, a media company owned by actress Reese Witherspoon, along with Dolly and James Patterson, will produce “Run, Rose, Run” as a feature film in which Dolly is set to star in the lead role.
“I’m proud, excited, and honored to be working with my good friend Reese Witherspoon and Hello Sunshine, “Dolly says. “James and I love Reese and look forward to working with her and her wonderful team.”
James Patterson & Dolly Parton
On top of all that, Dolly also carved out time to serve as host of the 57th Academy of Country Music Awards where she took the stage with her fellow country music artists.
An ongoing philanthropist
Over the years, and even more so recently, Dolly has lent her name and her money to causes that benefit the human condition.
Dolly’s Imagination Library is a non-profit organization dedicated to inspiring a love of reading and learning by gifting books, free-of-charge to families, through funding shared by Dolly and local community partnerships.
As of March 2022, Dolly’s childhood literacy program has gifted more than 178 million books to children across the U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia, and the Republic of Ireland, and in 2021, was honored with a Library of Congress Literacy Award.
Putting her money where her mouth is
At the beginning of the pandemic, Dolly saw a need to help others the best way she knew how. Her donation of $1 million to Vanderbilt University Medical Center went toward research that led to the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.
All her employees at Dollywood now receive free college tuition. “If you’ve got the money and you’ve got the heart and you’re not too selfish, you can do a lot of good,” she told Mary Laura Philpott in an interview with Parade.
Oh, back to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
The folks at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame are so sure about their nominee that they declined Ms. Parton’s request to remove her name from the ballot. “We are in awe of Dolly’s brilliant talent and pioneering spirit and are proud to have nominated her,” they tweeted.
Dolly in Heartstrings
Dolly wrote on Instagram after the announcement had been made, “I am honored and humbled by the fact that I have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Of course, I will accept it gracefully. Thanks to everyone that voted for me and to everyone at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I will continue to work hard and try to live up to the honor. Love, Dolly.”
Keep truckin’ Dolly. Rock & roll, country music, movies, books, philanthropy—it doesn’t matter. We love all that you do and are enamored by the way in which you do it all.