Multi-platinum-selling No. 1 singer/songwriter Lauren Alaina was officially inducted and welcomed as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry tonight by her friend/mentor Trisha Yearwood. The Opry was the first major stage Alaina played just a week after she was named runner-up on Season 10 of American Idol, making her Opry debut on June 10, 2011. She has appeared on the Opry more than 50 times since.
“A lot of people love you,” said Yearwood before introducing a special video from another of Alaina’s musical heroes, Dolly Parton, welcoming her to the Opry family. “You and I have a lot in common,” said Parton via video. “We both started young, we love country music and we love the Grand Ole Opry and I’d give a million dollars if I could be there with Trisha and Garth and everyone who loves you to get you inducted into the Grand Ole Opry. I just want to wish you the best in your whole career.”
Yearwood continued “What I have gotten to observe in knowing you for the couple of years I have known you is how genuine you are. I think country music is in good hands. You are exactly the kind of artist that the Opry loves, and wants and looks for. Usually when someone gets inducted they say ‘it’s on behalf of all the members of the Grand Ole Opry,’ and I’m going to say that, but I also want to say every single person from the house band, to the crew, to who is parking cars, everybody tonight says how deserving you are and it’s about time. So on behalf of myself, all the members of the Opry, the crew and everyone who is associated with the Opry, you are now officially a member of the Grand Ole Opry, Miss Lauren Alaina.”
Welcome to the family, @Lauren_Alaina ♥️ pic.twitter.com/thENX0V1ce
— Grand Ole Opry (@opry) February 13, 2022
A tearful and emotional Alaina stood in the circle, saying “Ever since I was a little girl I dreamed of this moment. Both of my parents raised me with an appreciation for country music and all that it is, and all of the people who have come before me. I just want to say I promise to do everything I can to represent country music. I promise to represent this family well. I have felt like family here as long as I remember. Everyone at the Opry has always made me feel like family so for me to finally be officially in is the biggest dream come true of all time. Most little girls dreamed of their wedding; I dreamed of this. God Bless you guys and God bless country music.”
Yearwood surprised Alaina before their performance of Yearwood’s classic “Walkaway Joe” introducing her husband, Garth Brooks, to the stage to play guitar for them.
“We’re all thrilled to add an artist of Lauren’s caliber and a personality we all love to the Opry’s ranks,” said Dan Rogers, Opry executive producer. “Anyone in the audience or tuned in tonight could easily see it’s going to be a great marriage for decades to come.”
Alaina’s Opry induction was also seen on the Opry’s television broadcast home, Circle Network, and as part of its Saturday night Opry Live livestream on Circle All Access Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. It was heard on opry.com and wsmonline.com, SiriusXM: Willie’s Roadhouse, and the show’s flagship radio home, WSM Radio.
Artists scheduled to perform in the coming weeks include Clint Black, Priscilla Block, John Conlee, Sara Evans, Lady A, Ned LeDoux, Gary LeVox, Mac McAnally, Del McCoury Band, Jeannie Seely, Scotty McCreery, Carly Pearce, Sawyer Brown, The War And Treaty, Chris Young, and more.
Tickets for 2022 Opry performances through August 30 and the 97th Opry Birthday Bash shows taking place October 7 and 8, 2022 are on sale now. Also on sale now are tickets for Thursday night Opry Country Classics shows, hosted by Larry Gatlin. Go to opry.com/2022shows to learn more or call 1-800-SEE-OPRY.
Audio / Lauren Alaina talks about how important it is to her to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry. he GrandDownload
Lauren Alaina (becoming a member of the GOO) OC: …really proud. 1:15
“I’ve been told since I was a little girl how important the Grand Ole Opry is to country music, and obviously, all I’ve ever wanted is to be a family member in the country music community. So, I remember the first time I stepped onto the stage like it was yesterday. I looked over and my dad was sobbing side stage and I was just out there, and I was so young, and I just remember thinking, ‘Whoa! This is, like a little kid going to Disneyland for the first time.’ And it just felt like a magical place that I would never get to go to, and then I found myself standing in the circle and making my dad proud and um (emotional pause) to fast forward to tonight, and my whole family is here and my whole team is here, and we worked really hard for this moment. It’s the highest honor in country music, and I’m just so excited. I don’t know that I ever, ever imagined this day would come. I dreamed for it, but it felt like something that was so out of reach and I’m just really proud.”