On February 2, 2022, the nominations for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame were announced. Dolly Parton made the cut, along with 16 other notable performers. Among them were Eminem, Beck, Pat Benatar, Judas Priest, the Eurythmics, Devo, Lionel Richie, Dionne Warwick, Carly Simon, and Rage Against the Machine, according to Billboard. The winners will be announced in May 2022.
As Parton falls squarely into the country music category, her nomination came as a surprise to some fans. Even her crossover singles like “9 to 5” and “Islands in the Stream” are pop songs at best — not exactly in the same neighborhood as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, the Beatles, Queen, Led Zeppelin or even N.W.A. On the other hand, the Hall of Fame includes other country icons like Johnny Cash and Chet Atkins, as well as blues, jazz, and R&B artists like Ma Rainey, Leadbelly, B.B. King, Louis Armstrong, and Aretha Franklin. The Hall acknowledges not only established rockers, but also the musicians who paved the way to rock and who helped influence its sound over the decades.
Still, some fans are confused. One tweeted, “I love Dolly. She is not rock ‘n’ roll. The rock ‘n’ roll Hall of Fame has diluted its brand by inducting non-rock acts until it is virtually meaningless.” Another said, “Dolly Parton? Seriously? Might be time to change the name of this Hall of Fame.”