Elle King Opens up About Her Mishap During the Dolly Parton Tribute

Back in January, country music gathered to celebrate Dolly Parton’s birthday in Nashville, Tennessee. The night featured numerous performances that not only celebrated the country star but honored her as well. Although a night for Parton, Elle King seemed to steal the spotlight as she appeared on stage, admitting at the time she was “f**king hammered.” With many criticizing the singer, King recently discussed her side of the story. 

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Sitting down with Chelsea Handler on the Dear Chelsea Podcast, the singer opened up about that night, sharing the ongoing struggles of her life. “I had been going through something very heavy and traumatic in my life at the time. That day was a really big day dealing with what I was going through and am still going through, and I suffer from severe PTSD.” Explaining how she spent days not eating or sleeping, she added, “I was like a shell of myself. There was a big snowstorm that day, and this other singer who’s supposed to be the headliner backed out like three hours before, and they asked me if I would sing – if I would be the headliner and sing Jolene. I was like, ‘Great, I know that song.'”

[RELATED: Behind the Meaning of Elle King’s Irreverent “Baby Daddy’s Weekend”]

Dolly Parton Defends Elle King

During the celebration, King performed twice. The first time she took the stage, the singer gracefully made her way through the song. But when she returned, the star appeared to stumble through Parton’s 2001 hit “Marry Me.” While telling the crowd she was “f**king hammered”, King shared what happened afterward. “I got the curtain dropped on me. and I was totally disassociated, and I just cut to the dressing room – me on the floor just sobbing, like, ‘What have I done?'”

Although owning up to her mistake and admitting she took “one shot too many”, fans criticized her performance. Yet two weeks after the ceremony, Parton herself spoke out in defense of King. She told Extra, “Elle is really a great artist. She’s a great girl, and she’s been going through a lot of hard things lately. And she just had a little too much to drink.”

(Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images forAudacy’s Leading Ladies 2024)

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