Dolly Parton breaks silence Elle King's 'hammered' Grand Ole Opry tribute

by 24USATVFeb. 13, 2024, 4 p.m. 22
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Fans may think Elle King's song was all wrong, but Dolly Parton says it's alright.

The music icon is speaking out after King came under fire for her performance last month during a Parton tribute concert celebrating the country legend's 78th birthday.

King was caught on video from multiple angles performing what fans thought was a tasteless cover of Parton's "Marry Me." At one point during the performance, she says: "... Hi, my name is Elle King. I'm (expletive) hammered."

But Parton characteristically had nothing but good things to say about the singer.

"Elle is really a great artist," Parton told "Extra" in an interview aired Friday. "She’s a great girl, and she’s been going through hard things lately."

She added: "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."

During King's Jan. 19 performance, according to one TikTok video, the "Worth A Shot" singer admitted onstage she didn't know the words to "Marry Me": "I don't know the lyrics to these things in this (expletive) town. Don't tell Dolly 'cause it's her birthday."

Addressing the audience, she said: "I'm not even gonna (expletive) lie … y'all bought tickets for this (expletive), you ain't getting your money back."

"I don't want it," one fan could be heard shouting back. "Good, 'cause you ain't getting it," King replied.

Parton celebrated her 78th birthday on Jan. 19 with several events honoring the country star in Nashville, Tennesse. One of those was a night at the Grand Ole Opry dedicated to Parton, with performances from King, Terri Clark, Tigirlily Gold, Ashley Monroe, Dailey and Vincent and more.

The venue later apologized, after a user on X, formerly Twitter, complained that the singer-songwriter, and daughter of actor-comedian Rob Schneider, had "ruined the night with her horrible, drunk, and profane performance."

"We deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night's second Opry performance," the Opry's post said. According to TikTok user @jamiek721, King cursed over a dozen times while children were also in attendance.

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