What the Hell Happened at Dolly Parton’s 78th Birthday Tribute Concert?

Elle King (aka Rob Schneider's daughter) got a little too drunk at Dolly Parton's birthday tribute show, and of course, fans are pissed.

What the Hell Happened at Dolly Parton’s 78th Birthday Tribute Concert?
Photo:YouTube, Kathy Hutchins (Other)

Over the weekend, The Grand Ole Opry held a concert in tribute to Dolly Parton’s 78th trip around the sun. And as one would expect from the birthday celebration of country music’s most famed singer-songwriters—not to mention a pop culture icon—someone got a little too drunk. I know. What’s the big deal? Well, unfortunately, it wasn’t just any other attendee but a performer at the show.

It very much appears that Elle King, the singer-songwriter (and Rob Schneider’s daughter) who struck mainstream success with the 2015 single “Ex’s and Oh’s,” imbibed a bit more than a pre-show tipple to cure the nerves. Upon taking the stage, per a slew of TikToks, King soon admitted to the crowd that she was “fucking hammered,” and didn’t know the lyrics to “Marry Me,” the Parton song she was supposed to perform.

“I don’t give a shit,” King sang along to the song’s instrumentals. “I don’t know the lyrics to these things in this fucking town…Don’t tell Dolly ‘cause it’s her birthday.” You can imagine that the crowd was noticeably pissed—so noticeable, in fact, that King thought it wise to address them and sort of (?) repent for her rendition.

“I’m not even gonna fucking lie…y’all bought tickets for this shit,” she said with a sympathetic shrug. “I’ll tell you one thing more: Hi, my name is Elle King and I’m fucking hammered,” she tacked on after informing the audience they wouldn’t be getting their money back. Then, when a bandmate suggested King sing a song of her own instead of a Parton cover, she replied: “I can barely play another person’s song, let me see if I can play one of mine.”

As to be expected, social media has been up in arms ever since. On Twitter, one user vented, “For our first time at The Opry, it was a shame we all had to witness that.” This prompted the official account for the venue to respond: “We deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night’s second Opry performance.” I’ll note that Jason Aldean has also performed at the Opry which is, in my opinion, a far more devastating shame.

King, nor Dolly have publicly commented on the concert but the latter is a woman known for her tolerance, so, I’m sure she gets it. Meanwhile, I can’t help but draw some attention to King’s accent—something akin to an Atlantic City Johnny Cash impersonator—during her set. According to her, she was raised in my home state of Ohio where some folks do talk with a bit of a twang depending on the county. However, in past interviews—including one as recent as August 2023she very much does not have an accent…

Listen, we all do silly things like adopt an accent that isn’t our own and curse into a microphone when we’re on the sauce. Hopefully, King has learned (the very hard lesson) to just save that sort of thing for the karaoke bars, though.

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