At the Arizona Music Festival, Elle King Gives Her First Performance Since the Drunken Grand Ole Opry Scandal

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The country music icon performed Friday early in the evening at Tempe, Arizona’s Extra Innings Festival.

Elle Doll. IMAGE: GETTY/JOHN MEDINA

After her contentious and undoubtedly inebriated performance at the Grand Ole Opry’s Dolly Parton tribute at Nashville’s Peabody Auditorium in January, Elle King is making her stage comeback.

The 34-year-old country music artist gave an early evening performance at Tempe, Arizona’s Extra Innings Festival on Friday.

King donned a snakeskin skirt to go with her red long-sleeve shirt for the performance.

She added simple jewelry, such as a belt with studs, and an item of black sunglasses to complete her ensemble.

The vocalist of “Ex’s & Oh’s” will perform once more on Saturday in San Diego as part of Chris Stapleton’s American Highway Show tour support act. Prior to more North American performances later this spring, she will also shortly embark on a three-show tour in the United Kingdom.

Elle Doll. GETTY/JOHN MEDINA

King’s festival act takes place almost an entire month an half after her contentious appearance at a late January celebration of Parton’s 78th birthday. The singer-songwriter admitted to the audience in multiple fan-filmed videos that she was “f—ing hammered” and failed to recall the words during the performance.

She stammered over the lyrics to Marry Me and remarked, “No, I don’t recall the lyrics with these things in this f—ing town.” Keep it from Dolly because it’s her birthday.

King went on to say, “Everyone’s such as oh s—, you got ticket to this s—,” following the song. She put her palms inside her pockets and added, “I’m barely ready to lie.” Heavenly shit. Not even an f—ing lie from me. Did anyone purchase tickets to see this s—?

Fans flocked to social media after the evening, which included performances by Terri Clark, Ashley Monroe, who was Tigirlily Gold, Dailey & Vincent, and Ashley Monroe, to demand a refund. The Nashville venue apologized in response to several concertgoers’ tweets on X (previously Twitter).

Elle Doll. GETTY/SCOTT DUDELSON FOR STAGE COACH

Shortly after the event, the Grammy-nominated singer announced the cancellation of five of her scheduled gigs. At the time, she announced on her Instagram Story that her Dallas, Texas, event had been rescheduled for September, and her winter performances in Indiana, Illinois, and Detroit had been shifted to late March.

The updated dates will still be covered by your tickets. King added that refunds can be requested at the time of purchase if you are unable to reach the revised date. I’ll see you over there!

Parton stated in a February chat with Extras that she was not at all resentful of King for what happened. “Elle is a truly amazing musician,” the veteran of country music remarked. “She’s a wonderful girl who has experienced some difficult things.”

The singer of “Jolene” went on, “Let’s just forgive that, forget about it, and move on because she felt better than anyone could have.” She had simply had a bit excessive amount to drink.

The Come Take Your Wife singer has previously discussed her past experiences performing while intoxicated. She admitted she really is reluctant to be as inebriated on stage that she has in the past in an interview with the San Diego County Tribune in 2022.

Elle King. GETTY/HUBERT VESTIL

Saying “yes, I would like to consume alcohol and celebrate and afterwards go on stage” is easy for me, the country music icon admitted. I had a few drinks beforehand because I get apprehensive before I perform. I feel less anxious about hitting those notes when I sing while I’m drunk. It won’t hurt as much if I refrain from producing them.

King went on to say that she prioritizes being a mother over having fun. Daniel Tooker and the singer have a 2-year-old son named Lucky Levi.

If substance misuse is a problem for you or someone you know, please call the SAMHSA helpdesk at 1-800-662-HELP.


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