Dolly Parton on Elle King’s Grand Ole Opry tribute: ‘Forgive that and forget it’

Dolly Parton is ready for everyone to move on after what happened at the Grand Ole Opry’s celebration of her 78th birthday. 

The venue celebrated her birthday with a night of performances dedicated to the country music icon. 

One act, in particular, made headlines. 

Elle King was up to sing "Marry Me" and admitted on stage to being "hammered" as she fumbled through the performance. 

The singer forgot the lyrics and used profanity, which is frowned upon at the legendary venue.

"I don’t know the lyrics to these things in this f***ing town," sang King. "Don’t tell Dolly ’cause it’s her birthday."

King then went on to mock fans.

"Y'all bought tickets for this s***, you ain't getting your money back," she said.

"We deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used," The Opry later posted on social media.

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Parton herself wasn’t there that night but was aware of what happened. 


Dolly Parton speaks onstage at the 53rd Anniversary Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame Gala at Music City Center on October 11, 2023 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)

In an interview with Extra, she said it’s time to move on from it. 

"Elle is really a great artist; she’s a great girl. And she’s been going through a lot of hard things lately. And she just had a little too much to drink, so let’s just forgive that and forget it and move on because she felt worse than anybody ever could."

Dolly recently released new music in the form of a rock album, shortly after being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame last year. 

She’s currently working on a Broadway musical of her life. 

This story was reported from Detroit.