The Grand Ole Opry issued an apology after a contentious performance by Elle King during a show honoring Dolly Parton's 78th birthday at Ryman Auditorium.
Elle King, a Grammy nominee, openly admitted to being "f---ing hammered" and engaged in banter with the audience, acknowledging her impaired state and forgetting song lyrics.
Grand Ole Opry Apologizes to Audience Member After Elle King Performed 'Hammered' at Dolly Parton Tribute https://t.co/dV6IZCMWAZ
— People (@people) January 22, 2024
Videos shared on TikTok captured the singer's interaction with patrons, including discussions about refunds.
The incident drew criticism from attendees, with one describing it as "horrible, drunk, and profane," expressing disappointment that the evening was "ruined." Some concert-goers found the performance offensive, especially in the presence of young children.
The Grand Ole Opry responded to fan concerns on social media, expressing deep regret for the language used during the performance's second Opry segment.
"We deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night’s second Opry performance,' the Opry's X account stated.
They acknowledged the inappropriate nature of the incident and apologized to attendees who witnessed it. While the apology was issued, Elle King has not publicly addressed the controversy as of Monday afternoon.
This incident adds to Elle King's history of performing under the influence, as previously mentioned in a 2022 interview with the San Diego Tribune.
In that interview, she expressed a desire to avoid excessive drinking during performances. The recent controversy has fueled discussions about the impact of artists' behavior on live events and the expectations of concert-goers.
Despite the public apology from the Grand Ole Opry, the incident has raised questions about the responsibility of artists in maintaining professionalism during performances, particularly in venues with diverse audiences.
The aftermath of Elle King's impaired performance serves as a reminder of the challenges that arise when artists grapple with substance use on stage, potentially affecting the overall concert experience for attendees.