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Elle King ‘Disassociated’ During Drunk Grand Ole Opry Performance

By Michael May 17, 2024

Elle King was going through something “very heavy and traumatic” earlier this year, which led to her debacle at the Grand Ole Opry during Dolly Parton’s birthday celebration.

“I did a big no-no,” King, 34, told comedian Chelsea Handler on the Thursday, May 16, episode of the “Dear Chelsea” podcast. “I not only cussed on stage, hammered at the Grand Ole Opry, but it was Dolly Parton’s birthday, and it was the Opry was doing a Dolly Parton tribute.”

King decided not to speak about the incident right away because she needed time “to just chill” at first. “It was a big deal,” the singer told Handler, 49.

The musician made headlines in January after saying “f—k” on stage during the “Opry Goes Dolly” show held in Nashville. “You ain’t getting your money back. I’ll tell you one thing more: ‘Hi, my name is Elle King [and] I’m f—king hammered,’” she yelled at a fan in the audience during the concert. The Opry issued an apology the following day.

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“That day was a really big day dealing with what I was going through, and that I’m still going through,” King admitted on the Thursday podcast. “I suffer from severe PTSD. That day, I hadn’t eaten, I hadn’t slept in days, and I was really overwhelmed. I was like a shell of myself.”

Elle King performs onstage at the 56th Academy of Country Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry on April 18, 2021 in Nashville, Tennessee. Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for ACM

The singer continued: “I take one shot too many, and I’m just not there in my body, I’m not there. I don’t remember it. All I remember — I don’t even remember what I said. I know now what I said. I said, ‘I’m Elle King, and I’m f—king hammered,’ and I got the curtain dropped on me.”

Looking back at the incident, King admitted she only gets “flashes” of what occurred that night, telling Handler that she “100 percent disassociated.” King can remember “sobbing” on her dressing room floor.

“I was mortified,” she added. “I hand wrote an apology letter to the Opry. And I hand wrote an apology letter to Dolly.”

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Parton, 78, is “proof that angels exist,” King said. “She just gave me really kind words and told me, ‘Well, Dolly’s not mad at you, why should the world be?’ And made me laugh.”

Two months after the January incident, King broke her silence via Instagram.

“To everyone sending me love because I’m human and already talked to Dolly I love you,” she wrote on March 10. “To everyone who told me to k*ll myself I love you too.”

Parton, for her part, showed support for King the month prior.

“Elle King is a doll,” the country music legend told E! News in February. “I called her and I said, ‘You know, there are many F-words. Why don’t we use the right one? Forgiveness, friends, forget it.’”

By Michael

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