“To be honest, in all fairness, I got offered the Freedom award from the Trump administration. 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,” Parton said. “Now I feel like if I take it, I’ll be doing politics, so I’m not sure.”
Parton explained that while getting offered the award is flattering, she doesn’t prioritize awards over her work as a musician and philanthropist.
“But I don’t work for those awards,” Parton said. “It’d be nice but I’m not sure that I even deserve it. But it’s a nice compliment for people to think that I might deserve it.”
There’s no doubt the Grammy-winning music icon deserves the Medal of Freedom. In addition to her musical contributions over her 50-year career, the East Tennessee native has dedicated her life to philanthropy. She launched the Imagination Library, which grants free books to children from birth to age five.
Most recently, Parton donated $1 million to research for the COVID-19 vaccinne. Her donation has helped fund the creation and testing of the Moderna vaccine, which the Guardian reports as having 95 percent protection from the virus. However, Parton has yet to receive the vaccinne.
“I’m going to get it, though,” she told CNN. “I didn’t want to jump line. I didn’t donate the money so I could be protected. I did it for everybody.”