Elle King Says She Talked to Dolly Parton After Controversial Tribute Performance

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After postponing a string of concerts, Elle King returned to the stage at the Extra Innings Festival in Tempe, Arizona, in March. - Credit: John Medina/GettyImages
After postponing a string of concerts, Elle King returned to the stage at the Extra Innings Festival in Tempe, Arizona, in March. - Credit: John Medina/GettyImages

Elle King  has issued her first public comment on her controversial performance at a Dolly Parton tribute concert in January. The singer was criticized for appearing inebriated onstage at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium, where she bungled lyrics and told the crowd, “Hi, my name is Elle King and I’m fucking hammered.”

On Sunday, King posted a brief video of her running stairs in an arena with the caption, “Oh no was my human showing.” But it’s what she wrote over the video that directly addressed the fallout from her performance. “To everyone sending me love because I’m human and already talked to Dolly,” she wrote, “I love you.” She went on to allude to harsh comments she received in her DMs: “To everyone who told me to k*ll myself. I love you too.”

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Parton herself was unfazed by King’s Ryman performance, billed as a 78th birthday celebration to the “Coat of Many Colors” singer-songwriter. “Elle is a really great artist, she’s a great girl,” Parton told Extra in February. “She’s been going through a lot of hard things lately, and she just had a little too much to drink. So let’s forgive that and forget it and move on, cause she felt worse than anybody ever could.”

In the wake of the Parton tribute appearance, King postponed a string of shows. She returned to the road in March for a set at the Extra Innings Festival in Tempe, Arizona, and an opening slot on Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show at San Diego’s Petco Park. King is currently in the U.K. for shows at the Country to Country Festival.

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