First Hit to Star-Studded Collaborations
Although King first landed in everyone’s ears with “Ex’s & Oh’s,” a decidedly alt-indie hit, it wasn’t long before she vaulted into a new musical genre entirely. 2016 saw her teaming up with country superstar Dierks Bentley for the powerfully honest duet "Different for Girls," which appeared on Bentley’s album Black. The track was a wild success, hitting number one on the Country Airplay chart, receiving a Grammy nomination for Best Country Duo/Group Performance, and winning a Country Music Association trophy for Best Vocal Event of the Year.
In October 2018, King released Shake the Spirit, her second full-length album. The confessional album peaked at number 68 on the U.S. album chart, hit the Top Three of Billboard’s Americana/Folk Albums chart and the Top Ten of the rock and alternative charts. Variety wrote of the record, “King has done herself proud with this half-fun, half-harrowing transitional effort.”
The next few years saw a series of shorter project, including a Christmas song collaboration with Ronnie Spector called "Under the Mistletoe" in late 2019 and "Best of You," a duet with Andy Grammer, the following year.
In 2020, Elle dropped her three-track EP In Isolation, recording the demos while quarantined in Los Angeles during the COVID-19 pandemic. The project featured the songs “Over Easy,” “The Only One,” and “The Let Go.” She appeared in the film Love, Weddings & Other Disasters (playing a park singer who performs throughout the film).
The following year saw King go platinum with a duet with Miranda Lambert. "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)" hit number 44 on the Hot 100. In late 2021, she released another holiday song, hitting the rock Top 40 with "Please Come Home for Christmas.” King was also featured on Wanda Jackson’s Encore album, performing alongside Joan Jett on the song "Two Shots.”
Motherhood, New Music, and Beyond
In September of 2021, King introduced the world to her first child, Lucky Levi Tooker, with her fiancé Dan Tooker. The singer said she had wanted to be a mother for as long as she could remember and spoke openly about her struggle with infertility and the loss of two pregnancies due to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).
Amidst new motherhood, King kicked off 2022 right, fusing banjo country and rock with "Out Yonder.” She also recorded "Feelin' Alright,” which was featured in DreamWorks Animation's The Bad Guys. In the spring of 2022, "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)” hit number 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart after 46 weeks on the survey. It marked only the second time that a duet by two female soloists topped that chart (the last time this happened was in 1993 with “Does He Love You” by Reba McEntire with Linda Davis).
It was a crowning achievement as she finished up the final dates of the Drunk And I Don’t Wanna Go Home Tour, which took her to 29 cities across the U.S. Back at home, learning the ropes of motherhood, and ready to create, there’s no telling what’s next for this gritty, gutsy artist who has always refused to be put in a box.