There’s a brand-new member of the Grand Ole Opry! Darius Rucker was invited by his friend, former tour partner and Opry member, Brad Paisley, to join the exclusive club on Tuesday night (October 2nd).
After performing three songs – “Alright,” “True Believers” and “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It” – Darius took part in a “Question & Answer” segment. Two audience members asked questions, including one about how long would he be in country, to which he answered “Until they kick me out.” His third question came from someone who he knew very well and had toured with a couple of times, Brad Paisley, who had a two-part question. “Are you still the worst poker player in the world?…The other question is would you like to be the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry?” Darius allowed the emotion to take over for a few minutes after answering yes…to both questions.
When Darius first saw Brad, he thought the notorious prankster owed him one. When he found out the truth of why he was there, he felt that there couldn’t be a more perfect person to invite him.
“Welcome him home, everyone,” Paisley told the audience. “This is his new home right here.”
Darius, who made country music his home a few years ago, feels more than just accepted. He feels a like a member of the country music family. “I’m like the third cousin that everybody kind of thinks is a member of the family,” he laughs. “Now, I’m actually now the first cousin who’s like a brother to the oldest brother.”
Darius then launched into “Wagon Wheel,” which will be featured on his upcoming album, due out early next year. The induction will take place October 16th, and will air live at 9pm ET on GAC’s Noteworthy at the Opry show.
NOTE: The side of the stage was hopping with a couple of famous faces, who will become even more familiar to TV audiences. Actors Eric Close and Chip Esten, who star in the new ABC TV series, Nashville premiering October 10th, were hanging backstage and seemed just as thrilled to watch the invitation as were the fans in the audience.
Darius is currently scaling the country charts with his latest single, “True Believers.”
AUDIO: Darius Rucker talks about his sincere surprise over the invitation to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry and how everyone around him, especially his wife Beth, kept it a huge secret.
Darius Rucker (Opry invite) OC: …a great day. :21
“I was totally, totally taken by surprise today, and I’m amazed that everybody in my life knew, and they’re all here. I didn’t know any of them were here until I walked off the stage, and I was like, ‘What are you doing here?’ Everybody knew, and I never found out. That’s amazing to me. What a great day.”
AUDIO: Darius Rucker thought he was going to be severely pranked when he saw Brad Paisley stand up in the audience at the Grand Ole Opry on Tuesday night.
Darius Rucker (Opry-Brad) OC: …been Brad. :35
“They had said before the show that they wanted to do a question and answer thing. I said, ‘Okay.’ I’m up for whatever, and then when Brad stood up, I thought, ‘Does he owe me one?’ That really was my first thought – ‘Did I get him last,’ ‘cause he’s the prankster of all pranksters, and I thought here comes something that’s gonna be very, very funny. I was just hoping it wasn’t slime or anything, and I didn’t think it was gonna be ‘You wanna join the Grand Ole Opry?’ There is nobody in the business that I would have wanted to do that more than Brad Paisley. If I were to choose the person to ask me to join, it would’ve been Brad.”
AUDIO: Darius Rucker explains how he feels a part of the family with the invitation to become a Grand Ole Opry member.
Darius Rucker (Opry 1st Cousin) OC: …oldest brother. :14
“I’m like the third cousin that everybody kind of thinks is a member of the family. Now, I’m actually now the first cousin who’s like a brother to the oldest brother.” [LAUGHS]