Dolly Parton finished off the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremony with a performance of a new rock song.
The country icon was drafted during the ceremony in Los Angeles on Saturday night, where she celebrated her newly rock star status and emphasized plans to release a rock album in her speech. “I’m a rock star now!” she said. “This is a very special night for me.”
Addressing her past decision to eliminate herself from the nomination process, Parton said, “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.”
The Grammy winner then uncovered she composed a new song, named “Rockin’,” specifically for the event. After an outfit change, Parton arose in front of a rock & roll leather outfit and chains for a performance of the new track — electric guitar in tow.
“If I’m going to go in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I’m going to have to earn it,” Parton said. “And you thought I couldn’t rock & roll.” She performed the rockin’ new track alongside the Zac Brown Band.
Afterward, she was joined by Brandi Carlile, Pink, and fellow inductees Pat Benatar, Duran’s Simon Le Bon, Annie Lennox, Dave Stewart, and Judas Priest’s Rob Halford for a performance of her hit song “Jolene.”
Back in March, the Country Music Hall of Fame inductee requested her nomination to be removed from the ceremony. “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,” she said. “I really do not want votes to be split because of me, so I must respectfully bow out.”
The Hall declined Parton’s request to bow out, and she at last acknowledged the nomination. “Of course I will accept it gracefully,” she said in a statement shared on social media. “Thanks to everyone that voted for me and to everyone at the @rockhall. I will continue to work hard and try to live up to the honor.”
Eminem, Eurythmics, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, Harry Belafonte, Elizabeth Cotten, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Allen Grubman, Jimmy Iovine, and Sylvia Robinson were additionally honored at the ceremony.