Reigning Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Female Vocalist of the Year Carrie Underwood became the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry tonight, inducted by fellow Oklahoman, Opry member Garth Brooks, before a sold-out Opry House audience.
Presenting Underwood with the Opry Member Award, Brooks said, “Nothing will last as long or be more important than this award right here tonight. Congratulations.”
Giving the award a kiss, Underwood beamed, “This is going to have a very special place in my awards case.” Her voice breaking, she continued, “I want to thank everybody at the Opry for having me as part of your family because it is such a great family to be a part of. … it really means everything to me. I am so blessed.”
Underwood made her Grand Ole Opry debut on June 10, 2005, just two weeks after winning American Idol. Her love for the Opry started as a child as she grew up watching and listening to the show, dreaming of one day performing there and even becoming a member herself.
“Since her debut nearly three years ago, Carrie has not only created many memorable Opry moments with her numerous appearances and extraordinary talents, but she has also shown us that she shares a heartfelt connection and a commitment to country music and its rich legacy,” Opry Vice President and General Manger Pete Fisher said in March following Underwood’s Opry invitation.. “We could not be happier to welcome Carrie into the Opry family tonight,” he said this evening. “We look forward to many Opry performances in the future and to all of the bright moments that her future holds.”
Underwood is currently headlining her “Carnival Ride Tour” with Opry member Josh Turner as special guest. Her current album CARNIVAL RIDE, which contains the #1 co-written smash hits “So Small” and “All-American Girl” and the current co-written hit, “Last Name,” was certified double-platinum within 2 months of its release. Her debut album, SOME HEARTS, was recently certified 7x-Platinum, becoming the best-selling solo female country debut in RIAA history.
With this certification, SOME HEARTS also surpasses all other releases as the all-time U.S. top-selling album by any American Idol contestant.
The induction aired live on Opry Live on GAC: Great American Country. The Opry Member Award presented to Underwood is a 14-inch bronze and oak wood replica of the Opry’s vintage microphone stand designed by renowned sculptor Bill Rains.
Underwood’s next scheduled Opry appearance is set for Tuesday, June 3, when she will join Montgomery Gentry, The Oak Ridge Boys, Luke Bryan, and more on the Opry stage on the eve of the CMA Music Festival. The Grand Ole Opry® is presented by Cracker Barrel Old Country Store®. Opry performances are held every weekend of the year, and the Tuesday Night Opry continues through Dec. 18. To plan an Opry visit, call (800) SEE-OPRY or log on to www.opry.com.
About the Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry presents the best in country music live every week from Nashville, Tenn. A uniquely American experience for more than 80 years, the Opry can be heard on 650 WSM-AM, XM Satellite Radio, and opry.com. The syndicated weekly program, America’s Grand Ole Opry Weekend, airs on more than 200 country radio stations across the country and on the Armed Forces Radio Network, and Opry Live airs each weekend on GAC: Great American Country. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Gaylord Entertainment (NYSE: GET), a Nashville-based hospitality and entertainment company that also owns and operates Gaylord Hotels. For more information, visit opry.com or www.gaylordentertainment.com