Clooney was awarded Society of Singers Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. In 1999, she founded the Rosemary Clooney Music Festival, held annually in Maysville, her hometown. She performed at the festival every year until her death. Proceeds benefit the restoration of the Russell Theater in Maysville, where Clooney's first film, The Stars Are Singing, premiered in 1953.

She received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.