Elle King has faced major ups and downs over the years on her way to stardom.
King came to prominence after releasing her self-titled EP in 2012. Three years later, the singer dropped her debut album, Love Stuff, which earned her two Grammy Award nominations. King continued to find success by touring with acts such as Of Monsters and Men, The Chicks, Joan Jett, Michael Kiwanuka and Miranda Lambert.
“It’s not that I wanted to be a famous person. I wanted to be a performer,” she told ABC News in November 2015. “But I worked really hard and I did everything myself and I took a name that is my mother’s name. I took that name because I wanted to be myself.”
Elle continued: “And, yeah, people know who my dad is. But I think that my voice and my music speaks for itself: that I am my own person.”
Despite starting her career with a rock focus, Elle found herself shifting her sound, revealing that she began to feel more “comfortable” when she delved into country music.
“If anybody was wondering, ‘Why would Elle King make a country record?’ Well, I said, ‘OK, I’ll tell you. Just start with the first song,’” she told Country Now in March 2023. “So that’s why I wrote [the song] ‘Ohio,’ because I’m sharing where I come from, what I love about country music and it’s also my love letter.”
Keep scrolling for a look back at Elle’s ups and downs throughout the years:
Getting Her Start
Elle was born and raised in Los Angeles by dad Rob and mom London. She decided to become a musician after receiving a record by the all-female hard-rock band The Donnas at age 9. She also made her acting debut alongside her father in his late ’90s movie Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.
Three years after the release of her 2012 EP, King’s single “Ex’s & Oh’s” dropped to resounding success.
“It’s sweet now because you don’t want to be the kid of a famous person and I’m just so glad at this point in my life I get [people saying], ‘You’re Elle King’s dad?’” Schneider previously told Us Weekly in May 2018 about supporting his daughter. “I’m just really happy for her that she’s really getting to a good place creatively that she’s just thrilled about.”
Making a Professional Change
After less than one month of dating, Elle got engaged to Andrew Ferguson in February 2016. They got married 12 days later on a sailing trip. Elle announced their split in May 2017 with an emotional social media post.
“It was and will forever be, one of the happiest days of my life. My heart is broken. My soul aches. I am lost. He is the greatest love of my life. He is my best friend,” she wrote via Instagram at the time. “As we separate, and attempt to find our footing through life, all I can hope for us is that we both find happiness within ourselves.”
News later broke that Ferguson was arrested and charged in April 2017 with felony domestic violence after he allegedly grabbed Elle by the throat and threatened to kill her. Ferguson denied the allegations and the charge was subsequently dropped. The former couple briefly reconciled in late 2017 before parting ways for good.
After ending her marriage to Ferguson, Elle started dating Josh Logan, but their romance fizzled out.
Finding The One
In 2019, Elle found love with tattoo artist Dan Tooker. The couple both popped the question to each other one year later.
“We rode horses up a mountain to go gold panning,” Tooker shared via Instagram in October 2020. “I had a ring in my pocket and I was going to toss it in the gold pan and propose to @tattooker … but of course, my soulmate beat me to the punch and proposed to me the exact same way. So I immediately got down on my knee too.”
In response to the post, Elle replied, “I love you, Daniel. One year down, forever to go. I said Yes by the way and so did he!”
A Difficult Road to Parenthood
Elle suffered multiple miscarriages before she became pregnant with her and Tooker’s rainbow baby, son Lucky, born in September 2021.
“I’m really excited to bring Lucky out on the road. It’s been a really big dream of mine to become a mom and have a family. And I’ve always kind of dreamt about having my family touring with me and seeing the world and experiencing life together,” Elle told Music Mayhem Magazine in August 2022. “It’s really, really fun and it fills up my heart and he’s the best.“
Speaking Out About Her Struggles
“I really like to drink and sing. I don’t want to get as drunk as I used to,” Elle told the San Diego Union-Tribune in February 2022. “It’s easier for me to say: ‘Yeah, I want to drink and party and [then] go on stage.’ I get nervous before I go on stage, [so] I have a 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.”
Sparking Split Speculation
Elle sparked split speculation when she performed at the Stagecoach Festival in May 2023 wearing a jacket that had the word “single” on it. One month later, Elle had a cryptic response about the outfit and her relationship with Tooker.
“I do love love, I think that love is a beautiful thing. All I can say is that me and my family are really happy and my kid is doing well and I feel great. So, that’s what life looks like for me right now,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “I think maybe if we shifted and say rooting for love for myself, I think that’s a nice little twist.”
Grand Ole Opry Backlash
During a Dolly Parton tribute performance at the Grand Ole Opry in January 2024, Elle was slurring her words on stage and cursing heavily. “You ain’t getting your money back,” she told a heckler in footage taken at the event. “I’ll tell you one thing more: ‘Hi, my name is Elle King [and] I’m f—king hammered.’”
Fans slammed Elle’s inebriated behavior and questioned why she was allowed to shout obscenities during the family-friendly “Opry Goes Dolly” show.
The Opry issued an apology shortly after the show, writing, “We deeply regret and apologize for the language that was used during last night’s second Opry performance.”
King remained silent over the incident but announced via social media that her final January 2024 show at Billy Bob’s Texas was pushed back eight months. She also cleared her February show schedule and postponed the gigs until March.