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Elle King on Why She Performed Drunk at Dolly Parton Tribute

Elle King on Why She Performed Drunk at Dolly Parton Tribute

Elle King has now shared the backstory behind her infamous drunken performance for Dolly Parton‘s birthday tribute at the Grand Ole Opry.

While appearing on the latest episode of Chelsea Handler’s Dear Chelsea podcast, the singer opened up about her personal struggles behind the scenes. She disclosed that it was her “first time” discussing the incident publicly because she had to “just chill” after receiving so much backlash on social media.

She pointed out that she “did a big no-no” because she not only cussed onstage while “hammered” at the storied venue, but it was also the country icon’s big birthday tribute.

“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 like, severe PTSD,” King explained.

The artist continued, “That day, I hadn’t eaten or slept in days. I was really overwhelmed. I was like a shell of myself.”

She recalled that there was a “big snowstorm” that day and another singer who was supposed to be the headliner bowed out three hours before the performance. King was then asked if she could be the headliner and perform “Jolene.”

The singer explained that there were two performances that night. The first one was “perfect,” but after taking “one shot too many,” she felt that she was “not there in my body.” King had blacked out and didn’t even know what she said onstage; she found out when the video went viral.

“I was totally, 100 percent disassociated,” she said. “I just cut to, like, the dressing room. Me on the floor just like sobbing. Like, ‘What have I done?’ And then the next day, [the video] was everywhere and I was mortified.”

King shared that she hand-wrote a letter apologizing to the venue, as well as to Parton.

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“Dolly calls me a couple of days later, and she’s literally proof that angels exist,” said King. “She just gave me really kind words and told me, ‘Well, Dolly’s not mad. She watched you be a human being’ and made me laugh.”

The musician also said that after her drunken moment onstage, she wanted to “fucking die” and coped by taking space for herself for a while. However, she noted that the experience made her stronger and helped her learn from her mistakes. “Now I don’t drink before I go onstage and they’re the best shows I’ve ever played,” King said.

The “Ex’s & Oh’s” singer apologized on social media following her Jan. 19 mishap, writing, “To everyone sending me love because I’m human and already talked to Dolly, I love you. To everyone who told me to k*ll myself I love you too.”

She added in the caption, “Oh no was my human showing.”

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