Despite her stated desire to "respectfully bow out" out of the process, Dolly Parton will be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame on November 5, alongside Judas Priest, Duran Duran, Eminem, Pat Benatar and more.
Back in March, when the country music icon stated that she wished to withdraw her nomination from the 2022 race, she wrote "I don’t feel that I have earned that right": we begged to differ, and said so at the time. But for anyone who may still be harbouring reservations about Dolly's qualifications for entry into the hallowed institution, we present a final word on the matter, namely the singer/songwriter's beautiful re-imagining of the Led Zeppelin classic Stairway To Heaven.
Parton recorded the song for her 2002 bluegrass album Halos & Horns back in 2002. Typical of Parton's fearless creativity, she didn't just approach the song for a straight cover, but added a choir, bluegrass instrumentation and - the audacity! - even some ad-libbed lyrics of her own: "We kind of made it bigger,” she casually stated.
"I knew I was walking on sacred ground because it is a classic," she later conceded. "I was scared to death to send it to Robert Plant and Jimmy Page. They sent word back that it was fine and they loved it. In fact, Robert Plant said he'd always thought of it as a spiritual song, and he was thrilled we'd used a choir on it, because he thought about that, too. If they like it, that's most important to me. But I do hope the public will accept it too. I even hope they love it."
And this, ladies and gentleman, is just one more reason to treasure country music's new rock 'n' roll superstar.
Now then, about that rock 'n' roll album we were promised...