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Dolly Parton Forgives Elle King for Drunken Performance at Grand Ole Opry Birthday Show, urged people to “forgive that and forget it and move on.”

Country legend Dolly Parton defended singer-songwriter Elle King after she delivered a drunken and profane performance at a Grand Ole Opry show honoring Parton’s 78th birthday.

Dolly Parton Forgives Elle King for Drunken and Profane Performance at Grand Ole Opry Birthday Show
Image: @dollyparton

King, who was invited to perform a cover of Parton’s song “Marry Me” at the Ryman Auditorium on January 19, appeared to be intoxicated on stage. She forgot the lyrics, cursed, and told the audience she was “f–king hammered”. Her bandmates tried to salvage the situation by switching to one of King’s own songs, but the damage was done.

Dolly Parton Defends Elle King After Opry Fiasco
Image: @elleking

Parton, however, was more forgiving and understanding of King’s behavior. In an interview with People magazine, Parton said that King is a “great artist” and a “great girl” who has been going through some hard times lately. She attributed King’s actions to having “a little too much to drink” and urged people to “forgive that and forget it and move on”.

“She felt worse than anybody ever could,” Parton said. “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, so let’s just forgive that and forget it and move on.”

Parton also praised King’s talent and said that she will always love her. “Elle is really a great artist. She’s a great girl, and she’s been going through a lot of hard things lately,” Parton said. “She’s got a great voice, a great style, and I love her. I’ll always love her.”

The Grand Ole Opry, meanwhile, issued an apology for the language used during King’s performance. “We deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night’s second Opry performance,” the station said in a statement. “We take pride in providing a family-friendly entertainment experience for all our guests and we sincerely apologize for any offense this may have caused.”

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The performance sparked backlash from some attendees, who took to social media to voice their displeasure. One user wrote on X: “Elle King ruined the night with her horrible, drunk, and profane performance. It was a shame we all had to witness that.” Another user commented: “I love Elle King, but she was so disrespectful to Dolly Parton and the Opry. She should apologize and get some help.”

Some fans, however, expressed concern about King’s well-being, as this is not the first time she has appeared to be under the influence during a performance. On New Year’s Eve, she performed at the Opry City Stage in New York, where some viewers speculated that she was drunk or high.

King has not commented publicly on the incident, nor has she explained the reason for postponing several of her tour dates scheduled for February. She is expected to resume her tour on March 1 at the Extra Innings Fest in Tempe, Arizona.

Elle King, who is the daughter of actor and comedian Rob Schneider, rose to fame with her hit single “Ex’s and Oh’s” in 2015. She has been nominated for four Grammy Awards and has collaborated with artists such as Miranda Lambert, Dierks Bentley, and Sheryl Crow.

Parton, who celebrated her 78th birthday on January 19, is one of the most successful and influential country artists of all time. She has won nine Grammy Awards, two Academy Award nominations, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom. She is also known for her philanthropy, especially her Imagination Library program that provides free books to children.

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