Elle King Drunken Antics Mar Dolly Parton Tribute at the Opry

Elle King Drunken Antics Mar Dolly Parton Tribute at the Opry

Elle King Drunken Antics Mar Dolly Parton Tribute at the Opry, image by American Songwriter

Elle King Drunken Antics Mar Dolly Parton Tribute at the Opry

Country music fans are outraged after singer Elle King put on a drunken, profanity-laced performance at the Grand Ole Opry’s celebration of Dolly Parton’s 77th birthday on January 20th. Videos circulating online show King cursing on stage, arguing with audience members, and proclaiming she was “hammered” during Friday night’s show.

The Opry hastily apologized over social media to attendees offended by King’s language and behavior at country music’s most revered venue. But that wasn’t enough for some concertgoers who paid over $300 per ticket, expecting a respectful tribute to the legendary Parton.

“It was such a disappointment to spend $300 on tickets for a show where one of the artists ruined an entire night,” one fan commented online. “I mean it’s The Opry, the greatest country venue in the world. That performance was like lackluster karaoke performer wasted out of their minds. Awful.”

Indeed, seeing King stumbling around the sacred Opry stage where Dolly first played decades ago felt like a slap in the face to country traditionalists. Her remarks even stunned younger fans in attendance.

It’s one thing to have some drinks and let loose at arenas or amphitheaters on tour. But veterans of the genre know you show up sober and ready to honor country music history when performing at the Mother Church of Nashville. Opry shows are live radio broadcasts that welcome guests age 2 to 92. Family-friendly songs and stories are expected from those lucky enough to play the circle of wood at the heart of it all.

By failing to read the room and maintain Opry decorum, Elle King has surely lost the chance to stand in country music’s central spotlight again anytime soon.

“Oh Elle King is never getting invited back to the Opry,” one fan suggested online. History shows that those who desecrate the Opry stage often walk the country music wilderness thereafter.

Here’s hoping King learns from the justified backlash and apologizes for letting down fans, Dolly devotees and tarnishing the Opry’s good name. Perhaps one day we’ll see her redemption song played on that legendary circle.

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