Former President Barack Obama says his administration made a major mistake in failing to honor country music icon, Dolly Parton, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
On Monday (November 30), during his appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote his new memoir, Obama was asked how it was possible that Parton had not been honored with America's highest civilian award.
"That's a mistake," Obama said. "I'm shocked."
"Looking back at your eight years, do you realize that the mistake you made?" Colbert asked with a laugh.
"Actually, that was a screwup," Obama replied. "I'm surprised. I think I assumed that she had already gotten one, and that was incorrect."
He added, "She deserves one. I'll call Biden."
The Medal of Freedom is bestowed by the president "to individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the security or national interests of America, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors."
Over the course of his presidency, Obama bestowed the Medal of Freedom on dozens of and public figures and musicians including Barbra Streisand, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Gloria Estefan, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Bruce Springsteen, Loretta Lynn and more.
Parton, who has earned two Grammy Awards and 25 number one singles throughout her career, made news last month because of her $1 million donation to help fund the development of a COVID-19 vaccine. The "Jolene" singer was previously honored with the National Medal of Arts in 2005 and Kennedy Center Honors in 2006— but no Presidential Medal of Freedom.
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