During Trump’s presidency, he gave out the US’ highest civilian honour 24 times, including to golfer Tiger Woods, conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh and posthumous recognition for music icon Elvis Presley and baseball star Babe Ruth.
However, despite his best efforts, he wasn’t able to make it work with Dolly.
Speaking on The Today Show, Dolly said: “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.”
During the interview, Dolly also admitted that she’d already been contacted by Joe Biden, but was “not sure” whether she could accept the medal now, out of concern she’d be “doing politics”.
“I don’t work for those awards,” she added. “It’d be nice but I’m not sure that I, you know, that I ever deserve it. But that’s a nice compliment for people to think I might deserve it.”
As well as her illustrious country music and acting career – which has culminated in 10 Grammy wins, two Oscar nominations and being inducted into the Songwriters and Country Music Halls of Fame – Dolly is also renowned for her philanthropy.
She has worked closely with the American Red Cross and HIV/AIDS organisations, and also has her own literacy program, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, which sends free books to young children who are enrolled every month.