The Grand Ole Opry apologized for Elle King’s drunken performance during its January 19 Dolly Parton tribute show.
“We deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night’s second Opry performance,” read a response from the venue’s X (formerly known as Twitter) account on January 20. A representative issued the apology to an attendee after they complained that Elle, 34, “ruined the night with her horrible, drunk, and profane performance.”
After the show, a fan posted video from Elle’s performance to TikTok, which quickly circulated via social media.
In the video, Elle was clearly intoxicated and admitted to the audience that she forgot the lyrics to one of the country music legend’s songs. “Don’t tell Dolly. Holy s–t. I swear if any of you guys tell Dolly,” Elle said to the crowd.
“I’m not even gonna f–king lie. Y’all bought tickets for this s–t? You ain’t getting your money back,” the blues rock singer continued. “I’ll tell you one thing more. Hi, my name is Elle King. I’m f–king hammered.”
Attendees weren’t the only ones who expressed their displeasure for the “Dear Alcohol” singer’s inebriated performance. In response to the video from the concert, one user wrote via X, “I’m disappointed in the @opry for allowing an intoxicated and disrespectful performance by Elle King in failure of honoring the great Dolly Parton.”
Despite the influx of backlash following the shaky performance from Elle, some took to social media to defend the singer’s drunken behavior — including Stella Parton, Dolly’s younger sister.
“I didn’t see nor hear the Grand Ole Opry birthday tribute to my big sister Dolly over the weekend,” Stella, 74, wrote via X. “But some lil girl by the name of Elle King apparently cussed and insulted some of Dolly’s fans by not knowing a song. She did admit to being ‘hammered’ her word not mine.”
Stella continued in a thread, “But let me just say this, it wouldn’t be the first time a Hillbilly went on the stage of the Opry ‘hammered’ but I guess it’s ok if you’re a male but good lord don’t ever let a girl behave that way folks! Double f–king standard if ya ask me.”
“To any lil ego thinking they can learn the lyrics correctly with a half assed listen to one of Dolly’s song. Surprise! You’ll end up looking as silly as that lil girl,” Stella wrote.
Elle has not yet responded to the criticism. The four-time Grammy Award nominee is best known for her chart-topping singles “Ex’s and Oh’s” and “America’s Sweetheart,” and for her song with Miranda Lambert titled, “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home).”
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