The Grand Ole Opry has been nominating and inducting members at a rapid pace over the past couple of years. While they only inducted 12 members during the entire decade of the 1980s, the Grand Ole Opry’s membership has grown by six since January of 2017 and will gain a 7th member in just three calendar years with the induction of Kelsea Ballerini. She joins Mark Wills, Dustin Lynch, Chris Janson, Chris Young, Daily & Vincent and Crystal Gayle (who was the 200th member in the history of the Grand Ole Opry). Ballerini was asked to be the next member of The Grand Ole Opry by Little Big Town.
After Ballerini performed her segment, Little Big Town took the stage to close out the show, inviting Ballerini back to perform the group’s hit “Girl Crush” with them. As the song concluded, the band changed its final lyrics to “Kelsea Ballerini, do you wanna join the Opry?”
“Yes,” Ballerini exclaimed, “I’m gonna pass out I think!” Collecting her thoughts, Ballerini recalled having visited the Opry at age 13 with her mother and knowing then that she wanted to support the Opry, even if only as a fan. “To be on this stage is the greatest gift in the world,” she said. “This is the home of country music, and I get to be a part of it.”
“For the rest of your life,” Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild added.
Ballerini’s formal Opry induction is set for Tuesday, April 16.
“We are thrilled at the thought of Kelsea Ballerini joining the Opry family,” said Opry General Manager Sally Williams. “So many of us at the Opry have been fans of her recordings, her songwriting, and her live performances since she played the Opry for the very first time. Having grown to know her personally in the years since, we love and respect her just as much as a person as an artist. We look so forward to her Opry induction in April and to all the years of great music we’ll share.”
Ballerini’s latest single, “Miss Me More” hails from her 2017 album release Unapologetically.