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May 23, 2024

Elle King’s Drunken Dolly Parton Tribute Sparks Backlash and Apology from Grand Ole Opry

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Jan 23, 2024

The Grand Ole Opry issued an apology following a controversial performance by singer Elle King during a tribute show for Dolly Parton’s 78th birthday on January 21st. King, who took the stage visibly intoxicated, delivered a profanity-laced set peppered with forgotten lyrics that sparked outrage online and in the audience.

Chaotic Performance Marred Dolly Parton Tribute

What was meant to be a celebratory night honoring country icon Dolly Parton took a turn when 33-year-old Elle King, daughter of comedian Rob Schneider, stumbled onto the legendary Grand Ole Opry stage appearing heavily intoxicated. King proceeded to flub lyrics and unleash expletives throughout renditions of Parton’s hit songs “Jolene” and “9 to 5,” frustratedly telling the Nashville audience at one point, “You’re not getting your money back.”

Footage of the cringe-worthy performance quickly went viral online, showing King slurring words and needling concertgoers. At multiple points, she dropped f-bombs, contrary to the family-friendly reputation of the iconic Opry venue.

Fans online and at the show voiced outrage, calling King “disrespectful” and her behavior “distasteful.” One concertgoer told local media, “She made a mockery of a legendary venue and a tribute to an icon like Dolly Parton. My children will never look at the Opry the same way.”

Grand Ole Opry Issues Apology

Following extreme backlash, the Grand Ole Opry issued a statement Sunday apologizing for King’s conduct:

“Last night’s performance by Elle King obviously did not meet the standards set for artists performing at the Grand Ole Opry. As a professional entertainer, it is an artist’s responsibility to uphold the expectations of the audiences they step in front of every night. We regret the situation and have made it clear that’s not acceptable.”

Despite the apology, many questioned the lack of intervention from Opry management during King’s crumbling set, suggesting they enabled the debacle by allowing her performance to continue in such visible impairment.

One Opry member pointed blame at King alone, saying, “I love Elle and lots of artists party. But you gotta keep it together when you’re in that circle, for country music fans and Dolly Parton herself.”

Dolly Parton’s Sister Weighs In

Country icon Dolly Parton has yet to directly address the controversy herself. However, her younger sister Stella Parton posted a sympathetic message about King on social media:

“…Elle is talented, smart and beautiful. She has her demons haunting her and she will fight them off! She does struggle with substances and depression… Show the crown that slipped some grace.”

Nonetheless, most fans remain unmoved by explanations of King’s behavior, arguing that addiction issues do not excuse such a lack of professionalism at a historically revered institution like the Opry during an event meant to honor a beloved figure like Parton.

One Twitter user wrote: “Addiction is awful. However, it does not absolve accountability for poor decisions that disrespect an establishment or person.”

Length of Time at Grand Ole Opry Description
15 minutes Length of Elle King’s Profanity-Laced performance
95 years Total time the Grand Ole Opry has been in operation since 1925

Fallout Continues

In the days following the debacle, anger persists from the country music community unhappy with the tarnishing of the Opry’s distinguished legacy.

A seemlingly remorseful King has made no public comment since shortly after the show when she posted an Instagram story reading: “I wish I could blame [my behavior] on something else other than exhaustion, depression, anxiety & addiction issues, but those are the hand I was dealt.” The post has since disappeared.

Neither King nor the Opry have announced any tanglible plans to make amends as yet besides the Opry’s initial Sunday statement.

While the iconic venue surely hopes to move past this PR crisis quickly, their handling of the on-stage fiasco suggests larger issues needing to be addressed. The country establishment’s institutions face mounting criticism for enabling unprofessional behavior that disrespects fans and legends like Parton simply because it generates attention.

This saga represents just the latest high-profile example of the industry’s unwillingness to set higher standards, take action against unruly artists, and preserve the reverence for country music’s heritage. Iconic institutions like the Grand Ole Opry derive cultural cachet from the towering figures that built country music’s legacy. Failing to uphold conduct expectations that honor that rich history risks losing fans’ trust and respect.

The Opry will likely need to implement stronger policies around performer decorum and sobriety checks in the future to avoid repeated offense. However, the damage from this viral incident may linger as social media jousts about King’s behavior continue. Meanwhile, the country world still awaits Dolly Parton herself weighing in before fully moving past the unfortunate spectacle of what should have been a celebration of one of music’s most beloved ambassadors.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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