(Background Photo) @jamiek721 / TikTok (Circle Photo) 20th Century-Fox / Getty Images
In bygone times, performers faced permanent bans from the Opry stage for even the slightest transgressions. As for Elle King’s actions on Friday (Jan. 19), particularly during a tribute to the iconic Dolly Parton on her birthday, many believe that a direct apology is warranted, at the very least.
Admirers appreciate Elle King for her “devil may care” attitude and extravagant style. She brings a unique energy, and that’s well-received. However, the Grand Ole Opry stage is expected to maintain a family-friendly atmosphere, and certain behaviors may not be suitable for the occasion. This is particularly crucial as the event is broadcast live on AM radio, subject to FCC regulations.
Concerns previously arose among fans for Elle King when the singer participated in Nashville’s New Year’s Eve Bash and appeared to have kicked off the celebration a bit too early.
It seems that now, there’s growing concern among followers that a pattern may be emerging with Elle King. This comes after her appearance on the Grand Ole Opry’s Opry Goes Dolly tribute to Dolly Parton at the Ryman Auditorium, where once again, she seemed to be visibly intoxicated.
Elle King’s inebriation was evident as she openly acknowledged being drunk on stage, followed by excessive profanity, slurred speech, and disruptions to her performance.
“Hi, my name is Elle King, I’m f***ing hammered.”
The situation didn’t improve when Elle King started her rendition of “Marry Me” from Dolly’s 2001 album Little Sparrow. She slurred her way through the song, punctuating the performance by screaming “I don’t give a sh*t!” in the middle of it.
Following the performance, disappointed fans took to social media to express their discontent with the lack of respect shown towards the Opry, the Ryman Auditorium, and the revered Queen Dolly Parton.
The Opry themselves even responded to a fan on X, issuing an apology for the language used by Elle King during her performance.
King isn’t the sole individual who has sparked controversy by using explicit language on the Opry stage recently. During his Grand Ole Opry debut on December 16th, Oliver Anthony left the “bullsh*t” line uncensored in his hit song “Rich Men North of Richmond.” However, in that instance, it seemed the Opry was aware it would happen. Anthony also shared Bible verses during his performance, perhaps balancing out the overall presentation.
Even performers known for explicit language, such as Hank Williams III, have chosen to censor themselves and show respect for the Opry stage in the past, recognizing it’s not the appropriate venue for certain behaviors.
We hope that whatever Elle King is going through, she can find a resolution and seek help if necessary.