During an appearance on the “The Late Show,” Obama admitted to host Stephen Colbert that he should have honored Parton with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, according to a clip of the interview released early Tuesday morning.
After Colbert asked why the 74-year-old music icon had yet to receive the medal throughout her five-decade career, Obama quickly acknowledged that that was a “mistake.”
He said not personally honoring Parton with the medal was a “screw-up” and that he likely assumed at the time that she had already been awarded one.
During his time in office, Obama bestowed the medal on a number of recipients, including physicist and philosopher Stephen Hawking, author and poet Maya Angelou, author Toni Morrison, Sen. Edward Kennedy, singer Gloria Estefan and actor Robert De Niro.
The medal is considered the nation’s “highest civilian honor,” given to individuals “who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors.”
While he missed his opportunity to honor Parton, Obama did quickly offer Colbert a possible way he can remedy his mistake: “I’ll call Biden.”
Parton, meanwhile, has been keeping busy with a lot of new projects.
Reflecting on her storied career, Parton told The New York Times in an interview published Monday: “The more I accomplish, the more humble I become, because I realize how [few] people are able to say that they’ve seen their dreams come true.”