Lainey Wilson Welcomed into the Grand Ole Opry Family

photo courtesy of Grand Ole Opry/Chris Hollo

GRAMMY ®, CMA, and ACM Award-winning prolific singer and songwriter Lainey Wilson was officially welcomed into the Grand Ole Opry family this week by Opry members Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, surprise guests for the sold-out first show audience.

Wilson performed with Opry member Terri Clark, who was celebrating her 20th Anniversary as a member, on Clark’s hit “Poor Poor Pitiful Me.” Wilson next joined Hall of Famer Wynonna on the Tom Petty hit “Refugee” before returning for her own set including “Dreamcatcher,” “Things A Man Oughta Know,” “Heart Like A Truck,” “Watermelon Moonshine,” and Hang Tight Honey.”

Yearwood, taking the stage during Wilson’s set said, “We are honored to be here tonight. There can never be too many women at the Grand Ole Opry. I have had the chance to know you Lainey just a little bit and what I know and the biggest compliment I think I can pay you is that ‘you get it.’ You know what it means to love country music. You love the Grand Ole Opry and that’s really what it’s all about. I will tell you this, I know this, when I think about the future of country music, I know with you in it we are going to be ok.”

Brooks added, “I would say I’m so happy for you, but I’m so dang happy for the Grand Ole Opry. I really am. It’s just really rare that you find somebody at your age that already gets it. So I’m going to tell you, if it’s up to you which I think it will be, your career is going to be as long as you want. There’s going to be highs. There’s going to be lows. The awards they give you now and you continue to receive will fade in time. The one thing that will continue is this family right here. Welcome to it.”

Yearwood ended by bringing Wilson into the circle saying “on behalf of all the Opry members past and present, welcome as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry, Lainey Wilson.”

An emotional Wilson said “Honestly, it feels like the biggest night of my life. We have had a crazy couple of years and all the awards and everything but this right here feels like the highest honor for me. It feels like the stamp of approval from everybody that stood right here. That just lights another fire under my butt.” Wilson brought her entire family to the stage to stand in the circle with her saying “I want my family to be up here because this is theirs too. They have worked so hard for me to have opportunities.”

“As a little girl, I didn’t dream about my wedding day. I didn’t dream about what song I’d play at my wedding, I dreamed about this right here. I dreamed about what song I would play in the circle if I got the opportunity.”

“When I see Lainey on the Opry stage, I know without a doubt I’m looking at an important part of the Opry’s future,” said Dan Rogers, Opry executive producer. “What a phenomenal Opry additon and what a great night.”

At a backstage party, numerous Opry members and friends were on hand to share their congratulations. Among those sharing video messages were Bill Anderson and Crystal Gayle (both of whom played the Opry the night Wilson visited the show as a nine-year-old), Cody Johnson, Jelly Roll, and Dolly Parton.

Wilson was surprised by Opry member Reba McEntire on May 21, live on NBC’s “The Voice,” with an invitation to become an official member of the Grand Ole Opry. The multi-platinum and reigning CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year Louisiana native made her Opry debut on Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14), 2020.

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