By Maxim Mower
Country's rising star, Megan Moroney, made her Opry debut on Saturday, February 11, after being surprised with an invitation from Deana Carter and Jamey Johnson back in January.
Moroney serenaded the Opry crowd with a rendition of her viral 2022 hit, ‘Tennessee Orange’, which was officially certified Gold shortly before she took the stage.
Moroney expressed her gratitude for the opportunity to perform at the iconic venue and for all the listeners that have supported her so far, before introducing her hugely popular single, “This is my song, ‘Tennessee Orange’, and it's safe to say it's kind of changed my life”.
@hollercountry @Megan Moroney makes Opry debut with "Tennessee Orange" performance 🧡 📹 Jonathan York #countrymusic #megmoroney #Holler ♬ original sound - Holler
The Georgia native's performance of her football-themed anthem was widely praised, and was accompanied by a rendition of ‘Hair Salon’, from Moroney's 2022 EP, Pistol Made of Roses. Moroney's Opry version of ‘Hair Salon’ showcased her laid-back, charismatic vocals, along with the playful storytelling that also pervades her latest single, ‘I'm Not Pretty’.
Following her Opry debut, she spoke openly about how nervous she'd been to step into the famous ‘circle’, but also admitted that it had been one of the ‘coolest’ moments of her life.
Ahead of her Grand Ole Opry performance, the ‘Tennessee Orange’ hitmaker commented on how special it was having two country greats break the news to her last month.
Moroney wrote in her Instagram stories that Carter's iconic hit, ‘Strawberry Wine’, was the first song she ever learnt to play on guitar. Knowing this, Jamey Johnson organised for Carter to help make Megan Moroney's Opry announcement via FaceTime.
The Georgia native recently released the music video for ‘Tennessee Orange’, in which the viewer steps into the shoes of the song's love interest. The inspiration for the endearing ballad stems from the notorious football rivalry between the Georgia Bulldogs and Tennessee Volunteers.
Over the course of the cleverly composed song, Moroney tells her mother that she has some bad news - but that, contrary to what we first think, it's simply that she's fallen in love with a Volunteers fan, something that would horrify her Bulldogs-adoring father.
After much speculation, Moroney confirmed that the subject of the song is country megastar, Morgan Wallen, which added to the intrigue of the already-alluring track.
‘Tennessee Orange’ continues to climb the charts, and with the boost the song is receiving from Megan Moroney's Opry debut, it seems it could well be on the way to becoming her first Country Radio No. 1.
Megan Moroney was included as one of Holler's 23 New Artists for 2023, as well as being selected as part of CMT's prestigious Next Women of Country 2023 class. After a break-out year, Moroney was also chosen as one of Spotify's 2023 Country Artists to Watch.
As the Opry host remarked following Megan Moroney's performance, it certainly wouldn't be a surprise to see her returning to the hallowed stage in the not-too-distant future.