Dolly Parton broke her silence and shared her raw reaction to Elle King‘s admittedly “hammered” performance that took place at the Ryman Auditorium on January 19, 2024. The incident occurred as Elle King paid tribute to Dolly Parton on her 78th birthday at The Ryman Auditorium, as part of the “Opry Goes Dolly” event.
Dolly Parton Reacts To Elle King‘s Profanity-Laced Opry Tribute Performance
During a recent interview with Extra’s Alecia Davis, the country music icon spoke out and didn’t hold back in expressing her thoughts on King’s performance, which made headlines last month.
“Elle is really a great artist,” Parton began, showcasing her support for the “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” singer. She then acknowledged King’s recent challenges, alluding to the fact that the 34-year-old California native had been going through difficult times.
“She’s a great girl, and she’s been going through a lot of hard things lately, and she just had a little too much to drink,” Dolly Parton continued. The “Jolene” singer went on to urge fans to forgive the hitmaker for her performance, which many fans dubbed “disrespectful.”
“So, let’s just forgive that and forget it and move on because she felt worse than anybody ever could,” Parton added.
Elle King’s Controversial Performance At Ryman Auditorium
Elle King sparked outrage when she took to the Ryman Auditorium stage on Friday evening (Jan. 19), admittedly being “hammered” drunk, to perform at the “Opry Goes Dolly” event.
The chart-topping singer/songwriter came under fire after appearing visibly intoxicated during her performance at the event, which was in celebration of the legendary “9 to 5” singer’s 78th Birthday. King performed a stunning cover of Parton’s “9 to 5,” before going into a cover of “Marry Me,” during which she forgot the lyrics and began blurting out expletives while bantering with the crowd.
“Don’t tell Dolly, holy sh*t. I swear to God if you guys tell Dolly…” King told the crowd, while also sharing that she doesn’t know the lyrics to the tune. She then went on to question the audience, saying, “Everyone’s like holy sh*t we bought tickets for this sh*t. Holy sh*t, I’m not even gonna fu**ing lie, y’all bought tickets for this sh*t?”
“You ain’t getting your money back,” King, whose real name is Tanner Elle Schneider, said after a heckler in the crowd shouted out to her. “I’ll tell you one thing more: ‘Hi, my name is Elle King [and] I’m f**king hammered.’”
“We’re celebrated Dolly Parton’s birthday the good ole fashioned way,” King’s background vocalist shared into the microphone. “We’re celebrating Dolly’s birthday with the bottle.”
Her background vocalist then asked King to perform one of her songs, to which King replied, “I can barely play another person’s songs, let’s see if I can play one of mine.”
Backlash Ensues After King’s “Disrespectful” Performance At The Ryman
Many concertgoers flooded social media with the videos of King’s “intoxicated” performance, which quickly went viral and made major headlines.
One fan took to TikTok to share a clip, which she captioned, “Elle King disrespected the Ryman and Dolly Parton.” In the clip, the fan explained, “I think we just watched the demise of Elle King’s career, and it was Dolly’s Birthday Tribute show at The Ryman. She said f**ck about 15 times prior to this and forgot the words to the Dolly song she was supposed to sing. At the end they shut the curtain on her, ended the variety show and said Goodnight.”
Other fans declared that Elle King should never be allowed to perform on the Opry’s sacred stage ever again, writing “Oh, Elle King is never getting invited back to the Opry” and “Elle King did one of the most disrespectful things you can do to that stage.”
Grand Ole Opry Issues Apology, Elle King Has Yet To Release A Statement
The situation even prompted the Grand Ole Opry to respond to the backlash and apologize to fans in attendance. “We deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night’s second Opry performance,” a representative for the Opry wrote on Twitter in response to one upset fan, who expressed their disappointment on social media.
Stella Parton, Dolly Parton’s Sister, Slams Elle King
The “Drunk (And I Don’t Wanna Go Home)” singer has faced major backlash throughout social media and within the media since this performance. Elle King, nor her representatives, have commented on the situation as of the time of publishing this article.
“Opry Goes Dolly” was hosted by the Grand Ole Opry at The Ryman Auditorium. This year marked the second annual event celebrating Parton’s birthday. The Opry hosted a series of two shows (7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.) on the country music icon’s 78th birthday, January 19, 2024.