Photography by Chris Hollo ~ Courtesy of Grand Ole Opry
While Holler loves a Grand Ole Opry debut, we're also quite smitten with the Opry members and their milestone moments.
They were in no short supply on Saturday night (May 13) as Carrie Underwood commemorated the 15th anniversary of her Opry induction.
Serving as a tribute to more than a dozen years of hits, awards and accolades, Underwood shot into her 2016 smash 'Church Bells.' Marking her 24th career No. 1 a few years back, the tune was a powerful opening to the decorated entertainer's four-song set.
One of modern country music's leading ladies, Underwood later showed off her vocal prowess with a stunning rendition of 'I Told You So'. The track, which was originally recorded by country icon Randy Travis in 1987, was included on Underwood's 2007 album, Carnival Ride, and, as she explained to the Opry crowd, will always hold a special place in her heart.
"I've had so many incredible, memorable and wonderful moments over these 15 years and some of the best moments I've ever had on stage have happened on this stage," she noted.
"In honor of that, we're going to throw it all the way back to the night I was asked to become a member. [Randy Travis], one of my absolute heroes, came out as I was singing this song and asked me to be a member. Of course, I accepted, but this song will always be very special to me".
Later in the night, after Michael Ray and Deana Carter took to the Opry stage, Underwood returned to show off her newest release, 'Out Of That Truck', which came out back in March.
To wrap up her anniversary show, Underwood clearly saved the best for last as she ripped into her 2005 blockbuster hit, 'Before He Cheats'. One of her standout tunes even for those not familiar with country music, the crowd exploded into a full-on uproar as the song's first notes sounded.
As she took her final bows and began to exit the hallowed Circle, Underwood exclaimed, "Thank you guys so much. God bless you and God bless the Grand Ole Opry!"
Underwood's first performance on the legendary stage came in June 2005, shortly after her monumental victory on American Idol. Just three years later, in May of 2008, she was invited to become a member and has cemented herself at the forefront of country music ever since.
While much has changed in the 15 years since her induction, Underwood has continued to be a benchmark for success in the country format and delivered some of the most enduring (and downright catchy) country songs along the way.
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