Lainey Wilson Gets Inducted into Grand Ole Opry Family

  • Lainey Wilson was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on Friday, June 7
  • The prestigious music organization recognizes artists’ passion for country music and its history
  • Wilson was welcomed into the Grand Ole Opry family by members Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood after getting a formal invitation from country icon Reba McEntire last month

Lainey Wilson dreamed of the moment she’d be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry ever since she was a little girl, and now it’s finally come to pass. 

On Friday, June 7, the prolific, award-winning country star, 32, was officially welcomed into the prestigious organization by Opry members and surprise guests Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood, both of whom saluted Wilson during her performance with fellow Opry member Terri Clark and Hall of Famer Wynonna Judd.

“We are honored to be here tonight. There can never be too many women at the Grand Ole Opry,” the “Georgia Rain” singer, 59, began. “I have had the chance to know you Lainey just a little bit, and what I know and the biggest compliment I think I can pay you is that ‘you get it.’ You know what it means to love country music. You love the Grand Ole Opry, and that’s really what it’s all about.”

Lainey Wilson being welcomed into the Grand Ole Opry by Trisha Yearwood.

Chris Hollo/Grand Ole Opry

Yearwood also acknowledged Wilson’s impact on country music and beamed about her career trajectory. 

“I will tell you this,” she added, “When I think about the future of country music, I know with you in it, we are going to be ok.”

The “Friends in Low Places” artist, 62, shared his own endearing words toward Wilson, saying, “I would say I’m so happy for you, but I’m so dang happy for the Grand Ole Opry. I really am. It’s just really rare that you find somebody at your age that already gets it.” 

He continued, “So I’m going to tell you, 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 now and you continue to receive will fade in time. The one thing that will continue is this family right here. Welcome to it.”

Yearwood ended their sweet tributes by bringing Wilson into the famous wooden circle and announcing, “On behalf of all the Opry members past and present, welcome, as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry, Lainey Wilson.”

Lainey Wilson onstage at her 2024 Grande Ole Opry induction.

Chris Hollo/Grand Ole Opry

An emotional Wilson then took the stage to share a moving induction speech. “Honestly, it feels like the biggest night of my life,” she said. “We have had a crazy couple of years and all the awards and everything, but this right here feels like the highest honor for me. It feels like the stamp of approval from everybody that stood right here. That just lights another fire under my butt.” 

The Grammy-winning artist also brought her entire family onstage to stand in the iconic circle with her and said, “I want my family to be up here because this is theirs too. They have worked so hard for me to have opportunities.”

“As a little girl, I didn’t dream about my wedding day,” she continued. “I didn’t dream about what song I’d play at my wedding, I dreamed about this right here. I dreamed about what song I would play in the circle if I got the opportunity.” 

Earlier in the evening, Wilson performed with Clark, 55, joining in on the Canadian singer’s hit song “Poor Poor Pitiful Me.” She then teamed up with the “Why Not Me” musician, 60, on the Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers number “Refugee” before tearing into her own set with songs like “Dreamcatcher,” “Things a Man Oughta Know,” “Heart Like a Truck,” “Watermelon Moonshine” and “Hang Tight Honey.” 

Lainey Wilson and Wynona Judd performing at the former’s Grand Ole Opry induction.

Chris Hollo/Grand Ole Opry

Wilson was first asked to join the Grand Ole Opry after her performance on The Voice season 25 finale on Tuesday, May 21. the Bell Bottom Country singer was surprised onstage by Opry member and country icon Reba McEntire, who formally invited Wilson to be inducted as a member of the celebrated country music organization.

“Lainey, I am so proud of you. You did a wonderful job,” said the “Fancy” performer, 69. “I have heard that I have inspired you in what you have done so far, and I am thrilled to death if I have had anything to do with your career because you are blowing it up.”

“I was so proud of you at the ACMs the other night, and I couldn’t be more proud to be the one that helps you continue to bridge the gap between our generations,” McEntire added. “I’d like to be the person to invite you to become an official member of the Grand Ole Opry.”

Reflecting on the milestone moment following her induction, Wilson wrote on Instagram, “Everything about last night was magic ✨ Becoming an official member of this family is one of the highest honors I could ever receive. Thank you to @garthbrooks & @trishayearwood for the kind words during my induction and to @wynonnajudd and @terriclarkmusic for joining me on stage❤️.”

(L-R) Trisha Yearwood, Jeannie Seely, Lainey Wilson, Terri Clark and Mandy Barnett at Grand Ole Opry Induction.

Chris Hollo/Grand Ole Opry

In May, Wilson was honored as the entertainer of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards, winning the coveted award over nominees like Kane Brown, Luke Combs, Jelly Roll, Cody Johnson, Chris Stapleton and Morgan Wallen. She also won female artist of the year and music event of the year for “Save Me” with Jelly Roll.

Wilson is set to release her fifth studio album, Whirlwind, on August 23. When announcing the record, she shared in a statement, “This new chapter of music is the most cathartic and personal piece of art I’ve ever made. I hope this record brings some peace to your whirlwind and wraps its arms around you like it did for me.”

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