Grand Ole Opry Apologizes to Audience Member After Elle King Performed 'Hammered' at Dolly Parton Tribute

"We deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night's second Opry performance," the venue responded to an upset concert-goer

<p>Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty</p> Elle King in Las Vegas in May 2022

Todd Williamson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty

Elle King in Las Vegas in May 2022

The Grand Ole Opry has apologized to a concert-goer on social media after a controversial performance from Elle King, where the Grammy nominee told patrons she was "f---ing hammered" and admitted to forgetting song lyrics.

King, 34, was part of a Ryman Auditorium show to honor Dolly Parton's 78th birthday alongside musicians Ashley Monroe, Tigirlily Gold, Dailey & Vincent and Terri Clark on Friday night.

During the Nashville gig, the "Ex's & Oh's" singer could be seen going back-and-forth with audience members about refunds in several videos shared to TikTok.

The exchange followed King, 34, seemingly singing in gibberish — and improvisational lines about her not knowing the lyrics to one of Parton's hits, "Marry Me" — while she was admittedly impaired.

Related: Elle King on Finding Love, Becoming a Mom After 'Tornado' 20s: 'I Have Everything I've Ever Wanted'

<p>Getty</p> The Grand Ole Opry photographed in 2018


The Grand Ole Opry photographed in 2018

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

She later added after the song: "Everyone's like, holy s---, we bought tickets to this s---. I'm not even going to lie," she said while putting her hands in her pockets. "Holy s---. I'm not even going to f---ing lie. Y'all bought tickets for this s---?"

After telling fans that they "ain't gettin' your money back," a crowd member then responded with "I don't want it."

"Good, 'cause you ain't getting it," King quipped.

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According to a TikTok user who attended the show, King swore on stage "about 15 times" before the exchange with the crowd and "forgot the words to the Dolly song she was supposed to sing." The venue then "shut the curtain on her," per the TikToker.

"I'll tell you one thing more. Hi, my name is Elle King and I'm f---ing hammered," King said Friday night.

A rep for King has not commented on the incident. The Grand Ole Opry responded to fan concerns on X (formerly twitter) Saturday, after one attendee said King "ruined the night with her horrible, drunk, and profane performance," calling it "a shame we all had to witness that."

"Hi Judas, we deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night’s second Opry performance," the Opry wrote in response.

<p>Jason Kempin/Getty</p> Dolly Parton in Nashville in November 2023

Jason Kempin/Getty

Dolly Parton in Nashville in November 2023

Related: Did Elle King and Her Fiancé Break Up? Singer Wears 'Single' Jacket After Cryptic Instagram Post

Other concert-goers called the performance "heartbreaking" for their young children and "offensive." King has not shared a response on social media, as of Monday afternoon.

She previously spoke with the San Diego Tribune in 2022 about performing drunk, sharing that she doesn't want to get as drunk as she used to on stage.

"It's easier for me to say: 'Yeah, I want to drink and party and [then] go on stage,'" she said. "I get nervous before I go on stage, [so] I have couple of drinks [first]. Drinking makes me less nervous about hitting the notes when I sing. If I don't make them, it won't sting as much."

King added that she puts "being a mother way, way, way above having a good time." The singer shares 2-year-old son Lucky Levi with Daniel Tooker.

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