During an appearance on the Stephen Colbert’s talk show, Obama admitted to the host that he should have honoured Dolly with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, according to a clip of the interview released on Tuesday.
After the presenter asked why the 74-year-old music icon had yet to receive the medal throughout her five-decade career, Obama quickly acknowledged that that was a “mistake” on his part.
He said not personally honouring Parton with the medal was a “screw-up” and that he likely assumed at the time that she had already been awarded one.
During his time in office, Obama bestowed the medal on a number of recipients, including physicist and philosopher Stephen Hawking, author and poet Maya Angelou, author Toni Morrison, Sen. Edward Kennedy, singer Gloria Estefan and actor Robert De Niro.
The medal is considered the nation’s “highest civilian honour,” given to individuals “who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavours”.
While he missed his opportunity to honour Parton, Obama did quickly offer Stephen Colbert a possible way he can remedy his mistake: “I’ll call Biden.”
Dolly, meanwhile, has been keeping busy with a lot of new projects.
Reflecting on her storied career, Parton told The New York Times in an interview published earlier this week: “The more I accomplish, the more humble I become, because I realise how [few] people are able to say that they’ve seen their dreams come true.”