Queen of country music Dolly Parton has revealed that she turned down former US President Donald Trump's offer of a Presidential Model of Freedom twice.

Speaking to TODAY, 75-year-old Parton said that she couldn’t travel to Washington DC to accept the honour, which is the highest civilian award in the US.

"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," she said, adding that she has since heard from President Joe Biden about the award as well. "Now I feel like if I take it, I'll be doing politics, so I'm not sure."

"But I don't work for those awards," she 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."

As well as her stellar music career, the singer has run Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, a literacy program that has donated more than 100 million children's books in the past 26 years.

In 2016, her Dollywood Foundation donated $1,000 per month to several hundred families in East Tennessee that lost their homes to wildfires.

More recently she was in the news after she donated $1 million to help fund coronavirus research at Vanderbilt University, which helped make the Moderna vaccine.

"I'm just happy that anything I do can help somebody else, and when I donated the money to the Covid fund, I just wanted it to do good," she told TODAY last November. "Evidently, it is."

Former President Barack Obama had admitted that he should have given the singer the prestigious award.

Asked by chat show host and comedian Stephen Colbert why Parton had not received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Obama said: "That's a mistake. I'm shocked. Actually, that was a screw-up, I'm surprised. I think I assumed that she'd already got one and that was incorrect. I'm surprised, she deserves one."

During his administrations, Obama presented the award to Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Gloria Estefan, and Barbra Streisand.

Trump bestowed only one musician with the Presidential Medal of Freedom - the late Elvis Presley.