Elle King on Her 'Single' Jacket, Talks CMA Fest With Dierks Bentley and Lainey Wilson (Exclusive)

The singer spoke with ET ahead of the 50th anniversary of CMA Fest, the longest-running country music festival in the world.

Elle King is all about loving life and herself right now. 

The singer stopped by the Opry House, home of the Grand Ole Opry, to chat with ET about her gig co-hosting this year’s CMA Fest alongside Dierks Bentley and Lainey Wilson

The 33-year-old has entered a new era in her life, previously hinted at in a cryptic Instagram post from April, in which she shared a series of selfies with the caption: "In my me myself n i era 😘💅🏻."

The post sparked speculation that the "Try Jesus" singer and fiancé Dan Tooker had split after four years. The pair met in 2019, at Tooker's Boston tattoo shop, and welcomed their son, Lucky, in September 2021. 

King fanned the flames further at her 2023 Stagecoach performance, where she went onstage wearing a neon green blazer that read "single" across her back, seemingly confirming that she and Tooker were over. And while the musician didn't make any comments about her engagement during the show, People reported that she "passionately" pointed to the logo on her jacket during her performance of her hit, "Ex's & Oh's."

Monica Schipper/Getty Images

"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," King tells ET when asked of her "me myself n i" era and blazing jacket.

While she appreciates those rooting for her to have love, the singer says, "I think maybe if we shifted and say rooting for love for myself, I think that's a nice little twist." 

Said twist involves learning how to mow the lawn -- although her neighbors aren't terribly pleased with her progress -- and working on new music, of course.

"There's always new music on the way for me, I'm constantly making music," King shares. "I love my son and I love music, those are my driving forces. If I had to pick someone I still want to sing with, my friend, Nathaniel Rateliff -- I think he and I would do a great duet together so I'm trying to pull him. I'm like, 'Nashville's really fun,' but we'll see."

Fans can watch King do what she loves as she, Bentley and Wilson headline the CMA Fest summer concert special, airing Wednesday, July 19 on ABC. The three-hour primetime event will be filmed in Nashville, Tennessee, during CMA Fest's milestone 50th anniversary, scheduled for June 8-11. This year also marks the 20th consecutive year that CMA has produced a summer concert TV special. 

The CMA Fest television special will feature never-before-seen performances and surprise collaborations, with performers to be revealed in the coming weeks.

King and Bentley co-hosted the fest last year, and the former shares that she's excited for Wilson to make them a trio. "Lainey's in because someone has to be professional and do real work, and me and Dierks -- I don't know why they keep having us do this stuff, but we definitely have a great time," King shares. "And I'm so happy because I've gotten to know Lainey over the last year or so and she brings us this whole new energy. I definitely didn't think they were gonna want to have me back to co-host, but I'm here and it's so fun. I can't wait, it's like the best party of the year."

While King hasn't always been known as a country music star, her third studio album, Come Get Your Wife, is definitely a star in the genre.

"It's been an incredible, kind of new, like, a resurgence of life and creativity and music," King explains. "And something that I've talked to a couple of other people who have kind of come into the country genre or even just moving to Nashville -- country music heals a lot of things in myself and in my life, and helps me come to terms with the polarizing opposites of growing up in Ohio and then growing up in New York City. I didn't know how that all fit until I was a part of this community and it's just been really loving and wonderful and cool. Through that I felt this freedom in my music and it kind of just pushed me to open this new chapter."

Although King concedes that "everything inspires me, and I will probably always make all different types of music," she says that she's come to realize that "I had been making a lot of country music this whole time. This is just the way I do it."

The singer adds that "it's been fun" collaborating with country artists, especially while on her current A-FREAKIN-MEN Tour with the Red Clay Strays as support. "I have no idea what's going to come, I don't know, but I'll always make music and I definitely have found my home here," she says.

And if any of her fans are worried about her straying from the genre she now calls home, King promises: "I'm staying!"

CMA Fest airs Wednesday, July 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.