Artist - Lainey Wilson - Opry Induction 1

Lainey Wilson Becomes Newest Member of the Grand Ole Opry Family

June 9, 2024 12:12 am GMT

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It's officially, the Grand Ole Opry family just got a little bit bigger. On Friday night (June 7), country music's leading lady, Lainey Wilson, exited the hallowed Circle as the newest member of the esteemed institution.

It was a night full of celebration both of Wilson and some of the genre's most fierce female acts, including Terri Clark and Wynonna Judd, both of whom Wilson crashed the stage to perform with. The former saw the pairing – with the Louisiana native rocking a cow bell – taking on Clark's iconic 'Poor, Poor Pitiful Me,' while the latter featured their cover of Tom Petty's 'Refugee.'

Prior to her official induction ceremony, Wilson got to take the stage to share her own sprawling collection of hits, including her soaring ballad, 'Heart Like A Truck,' the evocative 'Dreamcatcher' and her breakout hit, 'Things A Man Oughta Know.'

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"We've got so much to celebrate, y'all. Tonight is a very, very special night and I feel like I'm just overwhelmed in the best kind of way. I'm rarely speechless," Wilson shared with a laugh. "Every single time I get to step into this circle, I'm honored and grateful to think about everybody that's stood right here on this piece of wood. It's some big ole shoes to fill and this is a sacred place."

With the audience primed and ready to go, fellow Opry members Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood emerged to make the night official and etch Wilson's name into the country music history books once and for all.

Noting that "there can never be too many women at the Grand Ole Opry," Yearwood went on to praise the reigning ACM and CMA Entertainer of the Year for her love of country music and all of its traditions.

"When I think about the future of country music, I know with you in it, we're going to be okay," she offered as Brooks took to the mic. "I would say I'm happy for you, but I'm so dang happy for the Grand Ole Opry... 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 will fade in time, but the one thing that will always stay the same is this family right here," Brooks added.

Ushering Wilson into the coveted Circle, the pair of living legends officially invited the 'Watermelon Moonshine' hitmaker into the Opry family, presenting Wilson with the prestigious Grand Ole Opry trophy on behalf of all the institution's members, past and present.

"In 2002, at nine years old, I was sitting right back there. I'll be honest, as a little girl, I didn't dream about my wedding day or what song I'd play at my wedding. I dreamed about this right here. I dreamed about what song I'd sing in this circle if I got the opportunity," Wilson offered through tears, inviting her closest family up to center stage with her to bask in the career affirming moment. "Nine years later, I moved to Nashville in my camper trailer, and nine years after that, I played the Opry for the very first time on Valentine's Day of 2020.

"Country music is my life, y'all. I'm so honored and this is the biggest honor of my lifetime," Wilson concluded, oozing her gratitude and appreciation for everything that's led her to that moment.

With the Circle officially extended to accommodate one more, Wilson joins the esteemed list of country music greats, notching the newest in a long list of career accomplishments that she's achieved over the last few years as her star as risen to utter celestial heights.

For more on Lainey Wilson, see below:

Written by Lydia Farthing
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