Grand Ole Opry Responds to Backlash Over Elle King's Dolly Parton Tribute Performance

The Grand Ole Opry is apologizing after Elle King, who was part of a concert celebration for Dolly Parton's birthday, started swearing on the stage and said she was "f--king hammered."

By Elyse Dupre Jan 22, 2024 1:56 PMTags
Watch: Grand Ole Opry Responds to Backlash Over Elle King's Dolly Parton Tribute Performance

Elle King's tribute to Dolly Parton didn't hit the right note with fans.

The "Ex's & Oh's" singer received criticism following her Jan. 19 performance at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, where she was part of a concert held in honor of the country music star's 78th birthday.

After the show, the venue issued an apology to fans—noting on X, formerly known as Twitter, Jan. 20 that "we deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night's second Opry performance."   

During the event, Elle sang a rendition of Dolly's 2001 hit "Marry Me." But as seen in a video on TikTok, the 34-year-old appeared to forget the words and started swearing on stage. 

"Don't tell Dolly," she told the crowd in the clip. "Holy s--t. I swear if any of you guys tell Dolly."

And the profanities didn't stop once Elle finished the song by Dolly, who was not in attendance.

"I'm not even gonna f--king lie. Y'all bought tickets for this s--t?" she asked the audience. "You ain't getting your money back."

Elle then added, "I'll tell you one thing more. Hi, my name is Elle King. I'm f--king hammered."

Musicians Performing Live on Stage

Moments after her performance, the Grammy-nominated artist—who is the daughter of exes Rob Schneider and London King—came under fire on social media. 

Paul Morigi/Getty Images for National Geographic

"How disrespectful," one X user wrote. "Not only to Dolly, but to every single person who has walked on that stage. I seriously cannot even believe it."

Added another, "I'm disappointed in the @opry for allowing an intoxicated and disrespectful performance by Elle King in failure of honoring the great Dolly Parton. I was hesitant to put this out, but I love country music to my core. Where has Country Music gone? It's unrecognizable."

Others expressed their concern for Elle, who has spoken about her sobriety journey before.

"Sending lots of prayers," one X user noted, while another added, "Enjoyed seeing Elle King have fun last night. Dislike seeing people dump on her today."

E! News has reached out to Elle's rep for comment but has yet to hear back.

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