Dolly Parton is taking the high road when it comes to Elle King‘s “horrible” and “profane” tribute that angered fans last month.
The country music great broke her silence about the eyebrow-raising incident that led the Grand Ole Opry to issue a public apology.
“Elle is really a great artist,” Parton told Extra about the birthday concert at the storied Nashville, Tennessee, venue.
“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, ’cause she felt worse than anybody ever could.”
Fan footage of the four-time Grammy nominee forgetting the lyrics to Parton’s “Marry Me” and cursing on stage quickly circulated on social media shortly after the Jan. 19 concert. “Don’t tell Dolly because it’s her birthday,” she sang.
Parton, who celebrated her 78th birthday by releasing a deluxe version of her “Rockstar” opus, was not present during the expletive-laden performance, which also featured other acts.
The audience quickly turned on the banjo-playing “Ex’s & Oh’s” singer after she told them she was “f—ing hammered” and told them they were not getting refunds for the tawdry display.
“Elle King ruined the night with her horrible, drunk and profane performance,” one fan lamented on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. “Dolly Parton would’ve been mortified. For our first time at The Opry, it was a shame we all had to witness that.”
The Opry responded the next day, writing, “we deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night’s second Opry performance.”
King, the 34-year-old daughter of comedic actor Rob Schneider, has yet to address the NSFW performance.