Elle King is having a very good year. Sure, you could count the fact that her bluesy debut album, 2015's "Love Stuff*" went gold in 2016 and its top 10 single "Ex's & Oh's," earned her two Grammy nominations. More recently, King appeared with Dierks Bentley on the 50th anniversary broadcast of the Country Music Association awards where the pair won a "Musical Event of the Year" prize for their “Different for Girls" duet, as well as Stephen Colbert's Election Night Showtime special.
Yet, it is the fact that King met the man she calls "the love of her life" earlier in 2016 that has inspired her the most; so much so that she started a live showcase, The Ministry Tour, where marrying couples is a centerpiece of each evening with King acting as an officiator. (The couples originally got connected to King in order to have her marry them through her Instagram account.)
"Who doesn't want to get married by me in front of thousands of people?" she laughs.
How has conquering the world with "Love Stuff" changed your life so drastically?
Totally changed. It was a slow climb for "Ex's & Oh's," and that song hit in America while I was in Europe. I called my mom, and I think I was a little blue about something, and she was like 'Baby, you're in for a big surprise when you get home.' This past year has been outstanding, real dreams-come-true shows where everybody knows every word to every song. Still, this tour I'm doing now is the last hurrah for "Love Stuff."
Have you just had enough of it?
No, I'm getting ready to make the next record. I have more music in me, and there's an evolution from what I did with that one. Just for fun, we throw some of the new songs in on this show. I will however never get bored of "Ex's & Oh's."
Do you know why people connect to you on what seems like such a deep level?
I think, I hope, that it's me, though I don't want to come off as egotistical. I grew up as not always the most popular girl and not always the prettiest girl, and I just said "Screw it." I did what I wanted, be myself, and hoped people liked what I had to offer. I never changed that. I make music true to how I feel. People I know who response to that, who tell me they respond to that, often tell me that they feel as if we're friends or could be best buds with a real connection.
Speaking of best buds and connection, you're engaged.
We met in January, started hanging together immediately where we never left each other's side and we got engaged two weeks later. He's my best friend and has changed my view on everything We’re absolutely in love; so much so that I tried to figure a way of celebrating that love with my fans. So I started marrying them — that's the basis of the whole tour.
Are you guys having a traditional wedding where your dad (Rob Schneider) walks you down the road?
My stepdad will walk me down the aisle because he's the man who raised me. My betrothed is from Scotland, so we're not having a church wedding. It's going to be a small wedding in New York, a beautiful celebration with a dance party. Hoorah.
Do you know all the technicalities of marrying people?
I do. I have done in several times in the past, and know most of what aspects of it vary from state to state. I married friends in Utah and New Mexico in the past. One of those women is my maid of honor with her his band being the best man. This time around, we started in Salt Lake City and it was a blast. The bride threw the bouquet in the crowd and it was awesome. We signed the papers after we got off stage, then me and the crew went to their reception after our show. We're doing new weddings and vow renewals.
It's already nerve wracking getting married, to begin with. Being onstage just adds to that edge. What would you say to those looking to marry unconventionally?
It's just declaring your love in front of thousands of screaming people. It's easy. They get to feel even more special, and I feel special too. I tell people in the audience to scream louder. It's love. Why not get everybody to celebrate, to be a part of it?
If you go:
Nov 17, 8 p.m., The Fillmore Philadelphia, 29 E. Allen St. Philadelphia, PA $26.50,thefillmorephilly.com
Nov 21, 7 p.m., House of Blues Boston, 15 Lansdowne St. Boston, MA. $29.5-$39.50,houseofblues.com/boston
Nov 22, 8 p.m. Beacon Theatre 2124 Broadway, New York, NY, $35-$219.beacontheatre.com