Talent Recap

Dolly Parton Admits She’s Repetitively Declined Judging Position at ‘American Idol’

Dolly Parton at the 37th Annual Hall of Fame Induction CeremonyPhoto by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

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Dolly Parton is a household name in country music, having a career spanning more than five decades. With her experience in the industry, it’s only natural for American Idol to want her as a judge. The singer recently admitted that she’s declined the offer everytime she was invited to join the show.

Dolly Parton On Why She Declined American Idol Invites

In a recent interview, Parton revealed she was asked multiple times to become a judge on American Idol. Parton said that she has consistently declined offers from the program as well as requests from The Voice.

The 10-time Grammy winner revealed that she’s unsure if she’d be able to reject aspiring singers who don’t quite fit the bill. Parton revealed that she was invited to be on the show almost every season. She admits to only love watching American Idol and The Voice and being a fan instead.

“I get asked every season to be on, I really have trouble judging people, I would have a lot of trouble telling them yes or no, especially no,” Parton said. “I just always hate to see them lose. Even though I’m very proud of the ones that win, and they deserve it, because the public votes on that. But I just feel their little hearts. I hate it when they don’t win.”

American Idol Alums Look Up To Dolly Parton

Parton is adored by many of the most well-known former contestants of American Idol. In addition to the numerous times her songs have been featured on the program over the years. The first American Idol winner Kelly Clarkson was shocked when Parton approached her to remake the song “9 to 5,” as a duet.

“She is so talented, an inspiration to all women, and one of the sweetest people you will ever meet,” Clarkson said. “I hope y’all like what we did, but even if you don’t, remember I got to sing a duet with the magical Dolly Parton and now have bragging rights til the end of time!”

American Idol season four winner Carrie Underwood has shared the stage with Parton several times. In 2020, Underwood revealed that Parton has been a great inspiration to her throughout her music career. The third-place finish on American Idol season 16 Gabby Barrett got the chance to co-host alongside Parton on the 2022 Academy of Country Music Awards. Barret considered the moment a great honor, and that Parton is “still a legend,” to her.

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