Obama says not giving Dolly Parton a Medal of Freedom was a 'mistake': 'She deserves one'
1st December 2020

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Former President Barack Obama sat down with late-night host Stephen Colbert for a round of out of the ordinary interview questions.

Colbert asked Obama why he didn't honor country music icon Dolly Parton with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the country's highest civilian honor.

"That's a mistake. I'm shocked," the 59-year-old told Colbert. 

"Looking back at your eight years, do you realize that's the mistake you made?" the Emmy-winner asked. 

"Actually, that was a screwup," Obama admitted. He was on the show to promote his new memoir, "A Promised Land." "I'm surprised. I think I assumed that she had already gotten one, and that was incorrect."

Obama added he'd call in a favor to President-elect Joe Biden. "She deserves one. I'll call Biden," he said.

During his tenure as president, Obama bestowed the Medal of Freedom on a number of musical artists, including Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Gloria Estefan and Barbra Streisand.

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He also gave it to pop culture figures Robert De Niro, Ellen DeGeneres and Oprah Winfrey. 

Parton, 74, has received other prestigious awards in her decades-long career, including the National Medal of Arts in 2005 and a Kennedy Center Honor in 2006.

Dolly Parton helped fund the Moderna coronavirus vaccine research. 
(Getty)

Besides her successful music career, the singer-songwriter has long devoted her life to charity work. Most recently, she helped fund Moderna's coronavirus vaccine research with a $1 million donation in April.

"I felt like this was the time for me to open my heart and my hand and try to help," Parton said on the "Today" show in November.

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“I’m just happy that anything I do can helps somebody else,” she added. "When I donated the money to the COVID[-19] fund I just wanted it to do good and evidently, it is! Let’s just hope we can find a cure real soon.”

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