Dolly Parton rejected Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump twice

The country singer opened up to 'The Today Show' about the award

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Revealed in an exclusive interview with The Today Show, beloved country icon Dolly Parton rejected the Presidential Medal of Freedom from Trump twice.

The East Tennessee country superstar has been known for her philanthropic efforts throughout her career, primarily due to the charitable work she’s accomplished through her Dollywood Foundation since the 80s. 

The 75-year-old songbird has somehow gone her entire career without receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and we finally know why. According to her recent interview, the trailblazer was offered the prestigious honor twice from former President Trump, but she politely declined.

MusiCares Person Of The Year Honoring Dolly Parton – Inside
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA – FEBRUARY 08: Dolly Parton attends MusiCares Person of the Year honoring Dolly Parton at Los Angeles Convention Center on February 08, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rich Fury/Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

Read More: Dolly Parton wants Beyoncé to cover hit song ‘Jolene’

On Monday, Parton told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager, “In all fairness, I got offered the Freedom award from the Trump administration, 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…Now I feel like if I take it, I’ll be doing politics, so I’m not sure.”

She goes on to explain she doesn’t know if she should get the award, saying, “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.”

Kotb pushed back and praised the singer, saying, “I think everyone thinks you might deserve it.” 

In a recent interview with Stephen Colbert, Barack Obama said not giving Parton the Medal of Freedom was one of his biggest regrets.

He explained to Colbert, “Actually, that was a screw-up, I’m surprised. I think I assumed that she’d already got one and that was incorrect. I’m surprised, she deserves one.”

Read More: Dolly Parton declares support for racial justice: ‘Of course Black lives matter’

Parton also opened up about the racial justice movement in this country to Billboard last summer.

She told the magazine, “I understand people having to make themselves known and felt and seen…and of course, Black lives matter. Do we think our little white asses are the only ones that matter? No!”

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