Not everyone had such a grand ole time at the Opry this weekend.
The social media account for legendary country music venue the Grand Ole Opry took to Twitter on Saturday to apologize for singer Elle King‘s language during a tribute concert in honor of Dolly Parton’s 78th birthday. King performed Parton’s “Marry Me,” and appeared to forget the lyrics, at one point subbing in, “I don’t know the lyrics to these things in this fucking town… Don’t tell Dolly ‘cause it’s her birthday.”
She also declared, in audience video posted to social media, “I’ll tell you one thing more: Hi, my name is Elle King and I’m fucking hammered.”
King was one of several performers slated for the concert, and fans online and in the audience shared their displeasure with her apparent intoxication and language.
One Twitter user who had been in attendance tweeted that “Elle King ruined the night with her horrible, drunk, and profane performance. Dolly Parton would’ve been mortified. For our first time at The Opry, it was a shame we all had to witness that.”
“It was such a disappointment to spend $300 on tickets for a show where one of the artists ruined an entire night,” the user continued in another tweet. “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.”
The social media account for the venue responded Saturday with an apology: “Hi Judas, we deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night’s second Opry performance.”
Drinking and cursing are a questionable way to pay tribute to Parton, who has spoken in the past about participating in either activity in moderation. In a 2014 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she said, “Sometimes if I get mad, I’ll throw out a few cuss words just to prove my point. I’ve often said I don’t lose my temper as much as I use it. I don’t do either unless I have to because I love peace and harmony, but when you step in my territory, I will call you on it.”
As for drinking, she’s not a teetotaller, but said in her 2023 memoir Behind the Seams: My Life In Rhinestones, that she and the late Andy Warhol bonded while spending time together at legendary party spot Studio 54 because they “didn’t do too many drugs or drink too much alcohol.” She’s kept to it in recent years as well, telling NME in 2019, “I never did do drugs or alcohol. I do drink if I’m out on a special dinner and when I fly ‘cos I don’t like to fly, so I usually have a couple of glasses of wine, but for the most part I’m just not much of a doper or a drinker.”