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Elle King Returns to the Stage After Dolly Parton Tribute Incident

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

Elle King is back to workin’ 9 to 5.

The “Ex’s & Oh’s” singer returned to the stage for the Extra Innings Festival in Arizona March 1, over a month after her drunken performance at Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry in honor of Dolly Parton‘s 78th birthday.

King—who postponed several shows following the debacle—hit the mic at Tempe Beach & Arts Park wearing a red long sleeve top, a scarlet snake print miniskirt and dark sunglasses covering her eyes for the show. 

Back on Jan. 19, the 34-year-old faced backlash for admitting she was “f–king hammered” onstage, even forgetting the words to Parton’s songs while honoring the country legend, who was not in attendance.

“Don’t tell Dolly,” King told the audience in a video seen online. “Holy s–t. I swear if any of you guys tell Dolly.”

“I’m not even gonna f–king lie. Y’all bought tickets for this s–t?” she continued. “You ain’t getting your money back.”

The iconic venue later spoke out to apologize for the expletive-filled show, saying in a statement, “We deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night’s second Opry performance.”   

While King hasn’t addressed the flub publicly, Parton has shown her grace

“Elle is really a great artist, she’s a great girl,” the “Jolene” singer told ExtraTV in an interview published Feb. 9. “She’s been going through a lot of things lately, and she just had a little too much to drink.”

John Medina/Getty Images

Parton also encouraged fans to move past it, noting, “Let’s just forgive that and forget that and move on ’cause she felt worse than anybody ever could.”

In fact, she revealed that she personally reached out to King over the incident. 

“Elle King is a doll,” Parton told E! News Feb. 14. “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.'”

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

Acknowledging King “made a mistake,” Parton added, “She’s going through some hard times… We need to get over that because she’s a great artist and a great person.” 

For more proof on why we’ll always love the singer, read on to see her shine through the years:

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1977

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1978

Nancy Barr Brandon/Mediapunch/Shutterstock

1978

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1980

Nils Jorgensen/Shutterstock

1983

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1988

Kevin Winter/DMI/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

1988

Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

1989

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1993

McCoy Cox/Shutterstock

1993

Bei/Shutterstock

1995

Ron Galella/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images

2000

Dave Allocca/Starpix/Shutterstock

2005

Greg Mathieson/Shutterstock

2006

Sipa/Shutterstock

2009

Sipa/Shutterstock

2010

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2011

Mediapunch/Shutterstock

2011

Broadimage/Shutterstock

2012

Kristina Bumphrey/Starpix/Shutterstock

2014

JB Lacroix/WireImage

2015

David Becker/Getty Images

2016

Matt Baron/REX/Shutterstock

2017

John Shearer/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

2019

Shahar Azran/Shutterstock

2019

Matt Baron/Shutterstock

2019

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

2020

Jason Kempin/Getty Images

2021

Christopher Polk/Variety via Getty Images

2022

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

2023

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