Dolly Parton Breaks Silence On Elle King’s Drunken Grand Ole Opry Performance


Dolly Parton‘s love for Elle King will never die.

The “9 to 5” hitmaker expressed her enduring affection for King during her recent response to the singer’s tipsy tribute at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee, last month. 

Dolly Parton Sends Love To Elle King Following Drunken Performance

Less than a month ago, King admitted to being intoxicated when she messed up the lyrics to Parton’s 2001 hit “Marry Me” onstage. Amidst stumbling through some lines, the 34-year-old sang, “I don’t know the lyrics to this thing in this f——g town/Don’t tell Dolly ’cause it’s her birthday.”


King later joked, “I’m not even gonna f——g lie, you bought tickets for this s—t? You ain’t getting your money back.” 

Following the concert mishap, the Grand Ole Opry, known for its strict no-profanity policy, issued an apology expressing “deep regret” for “the language that was used” during the singer’s January 19th performance. 

Now, Parton has responded to the criticism of King’s profane remarks at her 78th birthday bash, stating:

“Elle is really a great artist. She’s a great girl, and she’s been going through a lot of hard things lately. She just had a little too much to drink.”

The “Jolene” hitmaker, while talking to Extra, encouraged onlookers to prioritize kindness, saying, “So, let’s just forgive that and forget it and move on, ’cause she felt worse than anyone ever could.”

News of the incident began trending after a clip of King’s performance was shared by one attendee who wrote, “I think Elle King just ended her career. I can’t imagine disrespecting Dolly at the Grand Ole Opry on Dolly’s birthday. I hope Elle gets the help she needs because this does not pass the vibe check.”

More comments under the clip included, “Dude, at THE GRAND OLE OPRY, the CHURCH of Country music, with her fake accent, swearing up a drunken storm. How sad & embarrassing,” “Swearing at the Opry? The church of country music???,” and “Even I know not to swear at the Grand Ole Opry! They should have stopped her; this is embarrassing.” 

One attendee, who witnessed the performance firsthand, asserted it was “much worse than this video clip shows.” They also claimed, “The Grand Ole Opry is a family show. The people in front of us had children and walked out.”

This recent intoxicated performance follows King’s hosting of “New Year’s Eve Live: Nashville’s Big Bash,” where she was also visibly intoxicated. 

King Has A History Of Substance Abuse After Her Marriage To Andrew Ferguson

Even though King has not publicly commented on the incident at the renowned country music hall, she did postpone a series of shows six days later. The postponement began with her Friday, January 24 performance at Billy Bob’s Texas, a Fort Worth, Texas music venue. 

Announcing the update, the venue shared through a statement, “The Elle King event, originally for Fri. 1/26/24 has been rescheduled to Sat. 9/21/24 @ 10 PM. Original event tickets will be accepted for the new date. Refunds are available at the point of purchase. Thank you for your understanding!”

While no reason was given for the rescheduling, it is worth noting that the “Exes and Ohs” vocalist has a history of substance abuse. In 2020, she disclosed that she used drugs and alcohol to “mask” the emotions in the wake of her destructive marriage. 

Elle King Butchers Dolly Parton Song As She Performed Drunk [VIDEO]

However, King also revealed that she sought help and was able to achieve sobriety. Later, in 2022, she highlighted the difference between performing under the influence and performing sober. In her words:

“You know, now that I have done performances in both ways, they are different. They don’t call it ‘liquid courage’ for nothing. I mean, how many jobs do you show up for, and there are bottles of liquor on the table for you (in your dressing room)? There are not a lot.”

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