Rock 'n' roll and country music have long been linked — in fact, they share some common origins, including the blues and American roots music — so it makes sense that there are already some country greats in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Johnny Cash, Chet Akins and Hank Williams are some of the artists who have been inducted in the past.

In 2022, Dolly Parton made waves when she was nominated to join the Rock Hall, then, famously, declined the nomination on the grounds that she didn't feel like she deserved it.

"It kind of would be like putting AC/DC in the Country Music Hall of Fame," Parton reasoned at the time. "That just felt a little out of place for me."

The ensuing voting process proved that many people disagreed with her assessment, and Parton is now a member of the Hall of Fame, which opened up a discussion among fans about what, exactly, makes an artist deserving of this honor. In response to Parton's qualms about her inclusion, the Hall itself issued a statement.

"From its inception, Rock & Roll has had deep roots in Rhythm & Blues and Country music. It is not defined by any one genre, rather a sound that moves youth culture," the statement read. "Dolly Parton’s music impacted a generation of young fans and influenced countless artists that followed."

Parton accepted her nomination — and eventually, her spot in the Hall — with pride, and she's even at work on a rock album called Rock Star inspired by the accolade. In the meantime, there are plenty more legendary country acts who fit the criteria of creating "a sound that moves youth culture," and the Rock Hall is taking notice: Willie Nelson earned a nomination in 2023, and will be inducted later this year.

As more country greats get the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame recognition they deserve, Taste of Country is rounding up the country superstars who are well overdue for induction. Flip through the gallery below to see 15 legends who deserve a spot in the Hall of Fame.

15 Country Artists Who Deserve to Be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

With Dolly Parton's 2022 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — and, even more recently, Willie Nelson's nomination for the 2023 class — it's clearer than ever that country artists have a place in the Cleveland-based institution's hallowed halls. But the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has always shown love to country performers, to a certain extent: Johnny Cash, Chet Akins, Brenda Lee, the Everly Brothers and Hank Williams are all past inductees.

Based on the criteria the Hall has set forth, that nominees should be acts who have had "a profound impact on youth culture," there are still many more country artists who deserve their spot in the Hall. Flip through the gallery below to see Taste of Country's top picks for who the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should induct next.

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