Dolly Parton's Sister Reacts To Elle King's Tribute After Opry Apologizes

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Dolly Parton’s younger sister, Stella Parton, spoke out about Elle King’s tribute performance that prompted an apology from the Grand Ole Opry. Stella took to X, formerly Twitter, to share her reaction.

King took the Ryman Auditorium stage during an “Opry Goes Dolly” show in honor of Dolly on her 78th birthday. The lineup also included Terri ClarkAshley MonroeDailey & Vincent and Tigirlily Gold. King made comments to the crowd using obscene language, including saying that she was “f***ing hammered,” and “holy s***, don’t tell Dolly,” when she appeared to forget the lyrics to Parton’s “Marry Me” during the show. In response to one social media user’s complaint, the Grand Ole Opry wrote in a statement: “...we deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night’s second Opry performance.”

Stella, who also addressed some of the replies, expressed her disapproval in a series of posts over the past few days, including one on Tuesday (January 23) that reads: “When you disrespect someone in my family you have disrespected every one of us. …I no longer stay silent when I see people behaving badly. The bottom line is this, if you’re lucky enough to stand before a paying audience give them your best or get off the stage. I don’t buy the lame weak excuse of getting ‘hammered’ to get out there. The fans pay our wages FYI. They sometimes sacrifice to do so.”

Stella, 74, also came to her sister’s defense in November, following the “I Will Always Love You” star’s Thanksgiving Day Halftime Show during the Dallas Cowboys vs. Washington Commanders game. Parton took the stage in a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader-inspired look, prompting comments from some internet trolls. Stella wrote in a post at that time: “I personally thought my big sister Dolly was cute as hell in her Dallas Cowboys cheerleading costume at the half time show on Thanksgiving. To those of you being so critical of a 77 year old kicking up her heels, I say f*** yourself. Shame on you not her.”

King has not publicly commented on the performance as of publication time on Tuesday afternoon. Dolly also has not publicly addressed the tribute.