An icon and one of the most beloved musicians in American history, country superstar Dolly Parton recently revealed that she has turned down the chance to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show.
In fact, she’s said no more than once. The 77-year-old artist explained her decision, citing various reasons for declining the prestigious opportunity, which many artists would kill to receive.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Parton shared that she had been approached with offers to perform at the Super Bowl halftime show on several occasions, admitting that there were times she simply couldn’t commit due to prior engagements. Other times, she doubted her ability to undertake such a massive production.
Parton acknowledged the grandeur of Super Bowl halftime shows.
“When you think about those shows, those are big, big productions,” she told the magazine. “I’ve never done anything with that big of a production.” In a moment of honesty, she added, “I don’t know if I could have.”
Despite her reservations about the scale of the production, Parton possesses an extensive catalog of hits that could certainly make for a spectacular Super Bowl halftime performance.
Her reputation as a beloved and respected artist, known for her timeless classics, makes her a natural choice for such an event. (Can’t you imagine the entire family singing along to “Jolene?”)
The NFL has historically oscillated between booking established, older acts and more contemporary, younger artists for the halftime show. Parton’s wholesome and (somewhat) family-friendly image aligns with the NFL’s preference for performers who are less controversial, especially in the years following the infamous “wardrobe malfunction” incident involving Janet Jackson. She may have been offered the position back then.
Recently, the league has predominantly opted for younger talents, as the organization is less afraid of wardrobe malfunctions. Usher is set to headline the Super Bowl halftime show in 2024.
Parton has experienced a significant career shift as she prepares to release her upcoming album Rockstar later in November 2023.
The decision to venture into rock music came after she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, despite initially declining the offer. The prestigious honor served as a catalyst for Parton’s exploration of a new musical genre.
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