Dolly Parton Defends "Doll" Elle King After Performance Backlash

Dolly Parton Reveals What She Told Elle King After Birthday Tribute Drama (Exclusive)

You don't have to look two doors down to find out how Dolly Parton feels about Elle King after that night at the Grand Ole Opry.

After the "Ex's & Oh's" singer received backlash for her tribute performance at the music venue last month—during which she admitted to the crowd she was "f–king hammered"—the country music star shed some light on where they stand. 

"Elle King is a doll," Parton told E! News in an exclusive interview while walking the red carpet for Dolly Parton's Pet Gala. "I called her, and I said, ‘You know, there are many F-words. Why don't we use the right one? Forgiveness, friends, forget it.'"

And ultimately, the "9 to 5" artist hopes life—and fans—treat King kind. 

"She made a mistake," she continued, echoing her previous sentiments about that night. "She feels worse about it than anybody. But she's a talented girlคำพูดจาก สล็อตเว็บตรง. She's going through some hard times, and I think she just had a little too much to drink and then that just hit her. So, we need to get over that because she's a great artist and a great person." 

photosMusicians Performing Live on Stage

Because as Parton put it, "Ain't we all done something stupid in our livesคำพูดจาก สล็อตเว็บตรง?" And as the 10-time Grammy winner moves forward, she wants others to do the same.

"Let's forget it and forgive her," she added. "That's the F-words I'm using tonight."

Mike Marsland/WireImage / Weiss Eubanks/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

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King took the stage at Nashville's Grand Ole Opry in January for a concert held in honor of Parton's 78th birthday. As seen in a video shared on TikTok, the 34-year-old performed a rendition of Parton's 2001 hit "Marry Me." However, she appeared to forget the words and began swearing.

"I'll tell you one thing more," she told the audience. "Hi, my name is Elle King. I'm f–king hammered." 

Afterwards, the Grand Ole Opry noted on social media that "we deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used." Meanwhile, King—who has since postponed some of her shows—has yet to publicly address her tribute to Parton, who was not in attendance that evening.

However, Parton wants to put the spotlight on a different area. This includes Dolly Parton's Pet Gala—a star-studded variety special and dog fashion show that will air Feb. 21 at 9 p.m. EST on CBS.

"We love animals, everybody does," she told E!. "And I've been trying to figure out something to do after I did the rock and roll album. And so I'm always anxious to do something for pets, I just thought it'd be a great idea."

Keep reading to take a look at Parton through her storied career.

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