This past weekend, the Grand Ole Opry hosted its annual Opry Goes Dolly celebration in honor of the Queen of Country Music's 78th birthday.
Held at the historic Ryman Auditorium – the original home of the Opry shows – the evening featured moving tributes from the likes of Terri Clark, Tigirlily Gold, Ashley Monroe and others, as well as some unforeseen behavior from pop-turned-country vocalist Elle King.
The 'Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)' hitmaker was supposed to perform one of Parton's hit songs, 'Marry Me'. However, King emerged on the stage inebriated, which she later confirmed to the Nashville audience during her set.
As the Opry house band played along to the Parton classic, King stepped up to the mic and delivered a rambling of incorrect lyrics, eventually singing: "I don't know the lyrics to these things in this f*cking town / Don't tell Dolly 'cause it's her birthday."
After making it through the song, she was met with a mixed response from the audience and quickly got into a verbal back-and-forth with a heckler in the crowd.
"You bought tickets to this sh*t; you ain't getting your money back," King stated to the audience member.
Addressing the entire Mother Church of Country Music, she continued: "Hi, my name is Elle King. I'm f*cking hammered."
The 34-year-old singer-songwriter proceeded to play one of her own songs before the Opry organizers ultimately closed the curtain, forcing the end of King's set.
Prompted by a wave of backlash towards the 'Ex's and Oh's' tunesmith, the Grand Ole Opry apologized for King's behavior, replying to an angry audience member saying: "We deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night's second Opry performance."
According to attendees who have gone on to post their show videos on TikTok, King used "about 15" expletives while on stage, which goes directly against the rules of the Grand Ole Opry.
As a syndicated radio show, the Opry isn't allowed to air explicit language during its broadcast, which means that Friday's demonstration could result in King being banned from the longest-running radio show in the world.
If that's the case, she'll join the ranks of Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Sr., Skeeter Davis and Jerry Lee Lewis, among others.
Friday's incident marks King's most recent display of impaired behavior, first called out during New Year's Eve Live: Nashville's Big Bash. Serving as the co-host of the evening, King was slurring the words to her hit song, 'Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)' on stage and was seemingly intoxicated during the bulk of the broadcast.
As of press time, King has not shared a response regarding this most recent Opry Goes Dolly incident.
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