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Dolly Parton Says to “Forgive and Forget” Elle King’s Drunken Opry Performance

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Dolly Parton, ever the symbol of grace and tact, thinks everyone should move on from Elle King’s drunken Grand Ole Opry tribute performance last month.

During a tribute concert celebrating Dolly Parton’s 78th birthday, Elle King slurred her way through a performance of “Marry Me,” singing “I don’t know the lyrics to these things in this fucking town/ Don’t tell Dolly ‘cus it’s her birthday” and later telling the audience “I’m not even gonna fucking lie… y’all bought tickets for this shit, you ain’t getting your money back.”

Speaking to Extra, Parton addressed the incident, and offered some support. “Elle is really a great artist,” Parton said, “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.” Parton had previously not acknowledged the incident, though the Grand Ole Opry and Elle King both offered apologies. Watch the clip from Dolly Parton’s interview with Extra below.

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Meanwhile, Dolly Parton celebrated her 78th birthday by releasing a deluxe version of her 2023 album, Rockstar. Revisit our Dolly Parton cover story, featuring an interview conducted by Paramore’s Hayley Williams.

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