EXCLUSIVE: Elle King On How She Wound Up Partying With Taylor Swift, Wanting to 'Celebrate Love' on Tour
By Sophie Schillaci
Elle King is having a major moment.
The 27-year-old rocker is currently on the road officiating weddings nightly on her Ministry Tour, but she still made time for a pit stop in Nashville this week to accept a CMA Award for her collaboration with Dierks Bentley, "Different for Girls."
But King really made headlines after surfacing in a series of Instagram photos with country darling and noted "squad" member, Kelsea Ballerini and pal Taylor Swift. The trio adorably gushed over their "BEST night ever" and only ET got the backstory straight from the source.
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ET caught up with King by phone on Friday ahead of her Columbus, Ohio, tour stop to get the scoop on her own upcoming nuptials to fiancee Andrew Ferguson -- whom she affectionately calls "Fergie" -- and the status on her Love Stuff follow up.
ET: Tell me about hanging with Taylor Swift and Kelsea Ballerini this week. Did you know them already?
Elle King: No, I didn't. I shared a dressing room with Kelsea and I instantly liked her, we instantly clicked. And then after the show we all went back in the dressing room and Taylor came in and she is probably the nicest person I've ever met!
Did you go back to Kelsea's house?
No, we went to a party and then we all went back to someone's house, but there were a lot of amazing people that I met [at the CMA Awards]. I met Reba -- Reba stopped me! I met Billy Ray Cyrus, I met Garth Brooks. It was insane.
I have to ask you on record: Are you in the squad now?
[Laughs] No, but I'm definitely trying!
I love how you've immersed yourself in the country community this year with Dierks Bentley and 'Different for Girls.' Do you think that will influence your next record?
Country has always been a very, very, very big part of my music and my songwriting. I haven't really started my process with album two, so I won't really know how big of an impact it's made in the new sound that I'm starting to play. I guess I'll just have to wait and see. Everyone will have to wait and see. I'm not gonna make a country album, though.
So the next album's not on your radar yet?
It is, I started thinking about it. I'm on the last tour, this is my hug and kiss goodbye to my first album. As soon as this tour is finished, I'm gonna do the holidays, plan my wedding and make another album.
You haven't planned the wedding yet?
No, I hired a wedding planner!
Have you set a date?
Yes, we're gonna get married on tax day [laughs]. I didn't know, but the place we wanted to get married in New York, he was like, 'I've got one Saturday left,' and I was like, 'I'll take it!' My mom was like, 'Tax day?!' I don't think it will affect anything though.
Any other details you can share? Have you chosen your dress?
I have picked my dress, yes. It's gonna be a small ceremony and then a really big party in New York. I don't want to give anything away because it's just going to be for family and friends.
How's Fergie doing? Does he have opinions on the wedding?
He's on tour with me right now and I'm sure he has some opinions, but I don't listen to them. I'm letting him and his boys, like, he's Scottish, so they're gonna wear kilts. That's gonna be his area. I asked him what colors he liked and I didn't include them because they didn't fit with the bride's vision [laughs]. I wanted something simple and beautiful, and I'm going to throw in a few surprises for him. But literally, I told my planner and my mother what colors I wanted, where I want to get married and when I want to get married. They're amazing, they know that my schedule's insane, so they're just gonna be like, 'Show up that day and don't worry about anything.'
Since you and Dierks have become so close, do you foresee him being at your wedding or having a role in your wedding?
Not a role, but I'm gonna invite him. I hope he comes! That man works hard. I thought I worked hard, but that man works harder than anyone.
How did you come up with the idea to officiate weddings on tour?
I've been ordained for a few years because I married two of my dearest friends. I always like to name my tours and have a concept for my tours, because it makes it special and individual and ties it to a concrete time in my life.
This idea has been rolling round in my head for a while and I just decided a few months before, and I was like, it's gonna be the Ministry Tour and hopefully we'll get a few submissions.
We have a total of 20 or 21 shows this tour, and we got over 400 submissions. I was like, 'Are you kidding me? This is so insane!' It got bigger than me and it became this beautiful, beautiful thing. With everything going on with the election, I wanted to have people take a break for 90 minutes of their lives and listen to music and celebrate love. Some of them are real weddings, some are vow renewals, and it's a really beautiful thing.
I've spent the last few years of my life onstage and in the spotlight, and it makes you feel so incredibly special. For one moment, every single night of these shows, I get to let a couple feel that and make it about them. It just makes me feel wonderful. I love to celebrate the differences and the different couples. Every day I meet with the couples and find out their backstory and what their favorite thing is about each other, and why they love each other. It's just a wonderful thing to celebrate love.
How did you choose the couples?
I lost my mind! I couldn't choose. I had to have management choose because I was having heart palpitations. How could I choose one couple's love over another couple's love? I get so, so into these things that I'll lose sleep over it and so, the big thing that I talk about in the ceremony is fate. I find that the couples that have been chosen by management, it was meant to be that couple. Every single time, there's been something like, no way!
My friend, Scottie, had written to me [earlier] saying, 'You're going to be in Indianapolis? My parents have been married for 35 years and want to renew their vows.' And I was like, 'OK, I'll tell management,' but I completely forgot.
Last night I was so exhausted, I didn't do my meeting with the couples because my tour manager couldn't wake me up because I was just out. I wake up five minutes before the show, I run onstage in a tracksuit, I'm just all over the place. I bring the couple out onstage, we do a beautiful ceremony, they're so lovely. At the end, they're like, 'We're Scottie's parents!' They got chosen without me even saying anything!
So, who's going to officiate your wedding?
My very dear friend. We chose a wonderful person who is very close to me. I just didn't want to have anything to do with religion, or anything. I just wanted someone who knew me very well and now knows Fergie and is close to the family. It's special that way.