Elle King Says She Was '100% Disassociated' During That Disastrous Dolly Parton Tribute

Country musician Elle King is hoping to clear the air with regard to her widely panned, seemingly drunk tribute to Dolly Parton.

King, a four-time Grammy nominee, drew backlash in January when she appeared inebriated while performing at a star-studded Grand Ole Opry concert honoring Parton’s 78th birthday.

Viral footage of the event shows King fumbling the lyrics to Parton’s 2001 song “Marry Me” and describing herself as “fucking hammered” upon taking the stage.

Appearing on Chelsea Handler’s “Dear Chelsea” podcast on Thursday, King, the daughter of actor Rob Schneider, provided some insight as to what went wrong. She said she wanted to “fucking die” after the online frenzy ensued.

“I had been going through something very heavy and traumatic in my life at the time, and that day was a really big day dealing with what I was going through, and that I’m still going through, and I suffer from severe PTSD,” she said. “That day, I hadn’t eaten, I hadn’t slept in days, and I was really overwhelmed. I was like a shell of myself.”

King also noted she’d only been approached to perform at the Jan. 19 concert just three hours beforehand, after the originally scheduled headliner had dropped out.

The concert had two performances. The first show, the singer-songwriter said, went “perfect.” By the second show, however, she’d taken “one shot too many,” and was “just not there in my body.”

“I was totally, 100% disassociated,” she explained. “I just cut to the dressing room, me on the floor just sobbing, ‘What have I done?’ And then the next day it was like everywhere. Everywhere. And I was mortified.”

As videos of the performance began making headlines, the Grand Ole Opry addressed the incident with a curt statement on X, formerly Twitter, but did not mention King by name.

“We deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night’s second Opry performance,” the statement said.

King postponed a series of tour dates in the wake of the controversy, and also delivered handwritten apology letters to both the venue and Parton herself.

True to form, Parton could not have been more gracious, she said: “She’s proof that angels exist. She just gave really kind words and told me, ‘Well, Dolly’s not mad at you ― why should the world be?’”

In a February interview with “Extra,” Parton defended King as a “great artist” and urged her fans to “move on” from the debacle.

“She’s a great girl, and she’s been going through a lot of hard things lately,” she said. “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.”

Listen to King’s “Dear Chelsea” interview below. Her comments on the Parton tribute begin around the 17:56 mark.