ENTERTAINMENT
02/02/2021 12:03 GMT | Updated 02/02/2021 12:11 GMT

Dolly Parton Explains Why She Turned Down Donald Trump's Offer To Award Her Medal Of Freedom – Twice

The award is considered America's highest civilian honour.

Dolly Parton has revealed she turned down Donald Trump’s offer to award her the Presidential Medal Of Freedom on two separate occasions during his time in office.

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.

NBC via Getty Images
Dolly Parton

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.”

The Washington Post via Getty Images
Donald Trump awarding the Medal Of Freedom to Tiger Woods in 2019

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.

It was revealed last year that Dolly had donated $1 million (£760,000) to coronavirus research, which had contributed massively to the development of the Moderna vaccine.

Former president Barack Obama spoke recently of his regret at not giving Dolly Parton the Medal Of Freedom while he was in the White House, admitting it was a “screw-up” on his part.