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

The Opry has apologized "for the language that was used during" King's performance.

Elle King recent caused a backlash over a drunken performance at the Grand Ole Opry during a Dolly Parton tribute concert. Now, the Grand Ole Opry has responded to the situation by posting a comment on X (formerly Twitter). On the social network, the Opry's office account had posted a message on Jan. 19 letting fans know that — "due to unforeseen circumstances" — country star Lauren Alaina would not "be appearing on tonight's Opry Goes Dolly shows."

Later that evening — after King's performance shut down the event — an upset fan responded to the post, writing, "I wish she would've been there because Elle King ruined the night with her horrible, drunk, and profane performance. Dolly Parton would've been mortified. For our first time at The Opry, it was a shame we all had to witness that." The following day, the Opry replied, "Hi Judas, we deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night's second Opry performance."

Whiskey Riff previously reported that King took the stage at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium to perform Parton's 2001 tune "Marry Me," during the Grand Ole Opry's Opry Goes Dolly tribute concert. However, video quickly began to emerge on social media, showing King slurring her way through the song, while one of her fellow performers joked that King was "celebrating Dolly's birthday with the bottle."

In audience-filmed clips from TikTok and other social media, King can be seen and heard mumbling through her performance, seeming to forget the words to the song. She later began bantering with the audience, at one point telling some they "ain't getting your money back." King then went on to slur through some other vulgar comments before attempting to play another song. Some attendees noted that the Opry staff eventually closed the curtain on King while she was still on stage.

Many have since spoken out about King's performance, with one person who attended writing in a post on X, "Fun night ruined by an incredibly disappointing Elle King ending." Someone else added, "Elle King drunked it up again. Tonight at the Opry...celebrating Dolly and listening to Elle slur words and drop F bombs right on the stage of the mother #church of country music. Ryman Aud crowd disgusted and speechless." King has not yet issued a statment on the situation.