Dolly Parton has revealed turned down two opportunities to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from former President Donald Trump.
The 75-year-old music icon made the admission during an interview with the Today show on Monday – but clarified that her decision to reject the nation’s highest civilian honor had nothing to do with her politics.
‘I couldn’t accept it because my husband was ill and then they asked me again about it and I wouldn’t travel because of the COVID,’ Parton explained.
Parton also told the program that Joe Biden’s administration recently approached her with an offer to award her with the Medal of Freedom, but she has not yet accepted.
‘Now I feel like if I take it, I’ll be doing politics, so I’m not sure,’ she admitted.
During her glittering 60 year career, Parton has stayed away from expressing her political opinions and, as such, is a beloved figure on both the left and the right.
Philanthropist: Besides being one of music’s biggest superstars, Dolly Parton has also performed a great deal of philanthropy over the span of her nearly 60-year career; Dolly pictured in 2018
Parton instead focuses on philanthropy, but insists she never got into charity work to receive adulation.
‘I don’t work for those awards. It’d be nice [to receive the Medal of Freedom] but I’m not sure that I even deserve it. But it’s a nice compliment for people to think that I might deserve it.’
Back in 1988, following the creation of the Dollywood theme park in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, Parton launched the Dollywood Foundation.
The non-profit organization first started out as a means of awarding scholarships to high school students, but has since evolved into much more.
Most notably, the Dollywood Foundation gave birth to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which is ‘a book gifting program which mails high-quality, free books to more than a million children around the world each month.’
According to Today, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library has ‘donated ‘100 million children’s books in the past 26 years.’
On two occasions, Parton turned down an offer to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Trump. Parton says she is now not sure whether she could accept the honor from Joe Biden for fear of looking like a political partisan
In addition to her charity work, Parton has become one of America’s most beloved cultural icons. The country music star has released 51 studio albums which have sold a whopping 100 million copies worldwide.
Just last year, Parton personally ‘donated $1 million to help fund coronavirus research at Vanderbilt University, which helped make the Moderna vaccine.’
In addition to her charity work, Parton has become one of America’s most beloved cultural icons.
The country music star has released 51 studio albums which have sold a whopping 100 million copies worldwide.
She has also become a beloved feminist figure, starring in several feminist films including 9 to 5 and Steel Magnolias.
Parton’s lack of a Presidential Medal of Freedom has even raised former President Barack Obama’s eyebrows
During an appearance on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert last year, the 59-year-old politician said he was ‘shocked’ to learn that Dolly had yet to receive the honor, calling it ‘a mistake.’
‘Actually, that was a screwup, I’m surprised. I think I assumed that she’d already got one and that was incorrect. I’m surprised, she deserves one,’ he continued.
Parton is one of the country’s most beloved cultural figures, with people on both the left and right of politics united on their admiration for her. She is pictured in 1978
Not for the awards: ‘But I don’t work for those awards. It’d be nice but I’m not sure that I even deserve it. But it’s a nice compliment for people to think that I might deserve it,’ said Parton (pictured in 2018)