Dolly Parton Reveals Why She Turned Down Super Bowl Halftime Show "Many Times"

Dolly Parton revealed the real reason she has never performed in the Super Bowl halftime show during her decades-long career.

By Gabrielle Chung Nov 03, 2023 1:16 AMTags
Watch: Dolly Parton's Shocking Kate Middleton Confession!

Sorry, Dolly Parton's 9 to 5 is still pretty full.

That's why the country music icon has never played the Super Bowl halftime show in her decades-long career. As Dolly recently explained, she's been offered the illustrious gig "many times," but there was never the right moment to say yes.

"I couldn't do it because of other things, or I just didn't think I was big enough to do it—to do that big of a production," she told The Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Nov. 2. "When you think about those shows, those are big, big productions. I've never done anything with that big of a production. I don't know if I could have. I think at the time that's what I was thinking."

However, the 77-year-old noted that her tune might change now that she's releasing her first rock album, aptly titled Rockstar, on Nov. 17.

"It would make more sense," she mused. "I might be able to do a production show."

She'd have to wait until at least 2025, as Usher is already slated to get us fallin' in love at Nevada's Allegiant Stadium in 2024, following in the footsteps of prior headliners BeyoncéLady Gaga and Madonna.

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Still, Dolly is in good company with the handful of superstars who have yet to make an appearance on the Super Bowl stage. Take Taylor Swift, who was rumored to be a performer before Rihanna was named the headliner of this year's event.

"Dolly is a force of evolution and transformation in our industry, but she does it with such playful levity it almost looks effortless," Taylor gushed to THR. "Her sense of humor and mischief are easily my favorite things about her, because I think it forces the world to reconcile that a woman can be a serious artist and writer who also has raucous fun with it, can make people laugh and be in on every joke."


Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

The "Anti-Hero" singer continued, "She's never stopped challenging herself to clear new hurdles and explore new territory artistically, and I think that speaks to her great curiosity about the human condition. She's a legendary empath and the storyteller for the ages. She's also having the most fun doing it."

In fact, Dolly never thought of dabbling in the rock genre until she was invited to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, an offer that the musician—in her true humble fashion—declined because she "didn't want to take away from somebody that has spent their life in that world."

"They're going to put me in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and somebody like Meat Loaf or some of these other great artists never even made it?" she recalled herself thinking. "They told me all the ways that people's music has influenced other people around the world … and told me about other people that were in it besides rock. Then I accepted it."

Kevin Kane/Getty Images for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

However, Dolly said she "still didn't feel great about it."

"I still thought I needed to earn it," she reasoned. "That's why I thought, ‘Well, timing is perfect. There's a real reason for me to do this rock 'n' roll album. Here I am a rock star at 77.'"

Keep reading to see Dolly through the years.




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