Elle King Opens Up About Drunken Performance at Dolly Parton’s Birthday Tribute, Substance Abuse Struggles, and Love for Country Music

Elle King Breaks Her Silence About Infamous Dolly Parton Birthday Tribute Performance

Singer-songwriter Elle King is finally speaking out about the controversial performance she gave at Dolly Parton’s 78th birthday tribute show earlier this year. In a recent episode of “Chelsea Handler’s Life Will Be the Death of Me” podcast, the 34-year-old shared about her mistake that night, revealing that she hadn’t talked about the incident publicly until now.

King revealed that she “cussed on stage– hammered at the Grand Ole Opry– but it was Dolly Parton’s Birthday.” She also admitted to drinking too much alcohol – something she has been very open about struggling with – and revealed that she hadn’t eaten or slept in days prior to the performance.

Despite the massive blowback she received after the incident, King shared that Dolly Parton, who was not in attendance at the tribute, called her a few days later to offer kindness and words of support.

Since the incident, King said she laid low and began to make changes in her life. She even welcomed her first child, son Lucky, in September 2021 with tattoo artist Dan Tooker.

King also spoke to her musical switch-up, touching upon her affinity for partying, which wasn’t widely accepted in the pop genre. She said she felt “kind of at home” in the country world, which felt warm and welcoming to her.

Despite the hiccup at Dolly Parton’s birthday tribute, King’s career continues to soar. Her debut EP “The Elle King EP” was released in 2012, followed by her debut album “Love Stuff” in 2015, which spawned the breakthrough hit “Ex’s & Oh’s.”

In 2016, King made her foray into country music, collaborating with Dierks Bentley on the award-winning hit “Different For Girls” and scoring a CMA Award for “Musical Event of the Year.”

King’s honesty and vulnerability about her experience at the Grand Ole Opry shine a light on the importance of mental health struggles, substance abuse, and cancel culture in the entertainment industry. It serves as a reminder that even the most successful artists struggle with inner demons and life’s challenges.

It’s important to own up to our mistakes, learn from them, and move forward with grace and humility. King’s courage to speak openly about her difficulties serves as an inspiration to all those who are navigating life’s struggles, reminding us that healing is possible, one step at a time


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