Dolly Parton urged fans and music industry professionals to give a pass to Elle King, who made headlines following an embarrassing performance in Nashville last month at a concert commemorating Parton’s birthday.
King, 34, said she was ‘f***ing hammered’ when she was onstage at The Grand Ole Opry as part of a show honoring the country legend, who turned 78 on January 19.
The music legend, who wasn’t in attendance at the venue at the show in her honor, told the outlet Extra on Friday that she supports King and likes her and her work.
‘Elle is really a great artist,’ the Behind the Seams: My Life in Rhinestones author told the outlet. ‘She’s a great girl, and she’s been going through of hard things lately.’
The Jolene artist said of the fiasco: ‘She just had a little too much to drink, so let’s just forgive that and forget it and move on, cause she felt worse than anyone ever could.’
Dolly Parton, 78, urged fans and music industry professionals to give a pass to Elle King, 34, who made headlines following an embarrassing performance in Nashville last month at a concert commemorating Parton’s birthday. Parton pictured in May in Texas
The Grand Ole Opry said it was sorry over the profanity singer King used in her January 19 performance at the iconic Nashville venue
The evening of the Parton tribute, the Grand Ole Opry told a concertgoer it was sorry over the profanity that King, the daughter of actor Rob Schneider, used in her performance.
King was seen slurring her words and saying the F-word multiple times during the set, before admitting on stage she was ‘hammered;’ and forgot the lyrics to Parton’s song Marry Me.
On January 23, a Parton insider told Dailymail.com that the legendary artist had no intention of publicly criticizing King following the outing.
‘Dolly in no way is going to bash Elle for her performance at the Opry, that is not Dolly’s style and that will not be Dolly’s intention to take down another artist, especially a fellow female artist,’ the source said.
The source continued: ‘Dolly doesn’t begin to know what Elle might be going through, if it was just one bad night or something more, but Dolly will not drag Elle in any way, Dolly isn’t going to tear her down.
‘This might actually end up leading to something positive and special down the line where they perform together. Dolly is all about building people up and this unfortunate incident is just that, a bump in the road.
The source concluded, ‘Dolly is going to see it through and expect the best and if she ever talks or sees or performs with Elle in the future, it will all be positive because that is where Dolly’s mindset is at all the time.’
King subsequently rescheduled a series of shows following the embarrassing appearance at the tribute to the 9 to 5 singer in the week following the disastrous outing.
Elle King caused quite the furor among fans at the Grand Ole Opry last month, when she appeared ‘hammered’ during a performance
King subsequently rescheduled a series of shows following the embarrassing appearance at the tribute to the 9 to 5 singer, in the week following the disastrous outing
In a tweet January 19, the account for the venue said that Lauren Alaina was scratched from appearing on the show, titled Opry Goes Dolly; following King’s profane display, an audience member replied to the tweet regarding Alaina.
‘I wish she would’ve been there because Elle King ruined the night with her horrible, drunk, and profane performance,’ the user said. ‘Dolly Parton would’ve been mortified. For our first time at The Opry, it was a shame we all had to witness that.’
The venue replied: ‘We deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night’s second Opry performance.’
Others in attendance at the concert expressed similar sentiments in the wake of the disastrous outing.
‘I was there Friday for the second show with my two young daughters,’ the user said. ‘Paid $380 for tickets, $40 for parking and stood in below freezing temperatures waiting to get in, only to leave early due to the vileness spewing out of Elle. So heartbreaking for my 11 year old who adores Dolly.’
Another attendee said they were ‘surprised’ that someone didn’t take the microphone away from her while she was ‘bombing hard’ in the outing.
A user responded, ‘Knowing some of the musicians who have fought so hard to stand on that stage and what an honor it is, much less to be a part of a performance to honor Dolly, it was completely disheartening to my girls, who have their own dreams of standing on that stage one day.’
One user said that King’s outing ‘was the most disgustingly unprofessional display’ they had witnessed at a concert, and wondered ‘why was she allowed on stage when it was obvious that she was drunk out of her mind.’
The singer and daughter of Rob Schneider performed at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry in Ryman Auditorium as part of a show honoring Dolly Parton on her 78th birthday, though the country legend herself wasn’t in attendance
King was seen slurring her words and saying the F-word multiple times during the set, before admitting on stage she was, ‘hammered’
Social media users left comments on King’s most recent Instagram post in regards to the performance
A user asked the venue to never invite King ‘back to such a respected institution,’ as ‘her trashy behavior was offensive, not only to the Opry and the fans, but to the other artists on stage that night.’
A TikTok video from @auctioneergirl showed King performing Parton’s 2001 song Marry Me, when she seemed to forget the lyrics.
Instead, she sung, ‘I don’t know the lyrics to these things in this f***ing town… Don’t tell Dolly ‘cause it’s her birthday.’
She then started seemingly antagonizing the fans, saying, ‘You spent money for this s**t?’
After a fan started yelling at her, King openly declared she was drunk on stage, which didn’t sit well with fans.
‘You ain’t getting your money back. I’ll tell you one thing more: “Hi, my name is Elle King [and] I’m f***ing hammered,”‘ she said on stage.
One of her band mates suggested they play one of her songs, as King responded, ‘I can barely play another person’s song, let me see if I can play one of mine.’
The Opry Goes Dolly show also featured Ashley Monroe, Tigirlily Gold, Dailey & Vincent and Terri Clark, with fans blasting King on social media.
While King has not addressed that performance, she has talked about her drinking in the past, insisting she can control it. She is pictured here drinking on stage in January last year
Elle King and father Rob Schneider were pictured in 2009 at The Ice House Comedy Club in Pasadena, California
While King has not addressed that performance, she has talked about her drinking in the past, insisting she can control it.
‘I really like to drink and sing. I don’t want to get as drunk as I used to,’ King said in a 2022 interview. ‘It’s easier for me to say: “Yeah, I want to drink and party and [then] go on stage.” I get nervous before I go on stage, [so] I have couple of drinks.’
‘Drinking makes me less nervous about hitting the notes when I sing. If I don’t make them, it won’t sting as much,’ she clarified.
King released her first single – Good to Be a Man – in 2012, with her first album, The Elle King LP, released that year, as she was named an Artist to Watch by Esquire.
While King started her career as a rock artist, with her breakthrough 2014 hit Ex’s and Oh’s, she fully switched to country music with her third album, 2023’s Come Get Your Wife.
The singer was married to Andrew Ferguson from 2016 to 2017 but they never shared any children.