BNA Records recording artist Craig Morgan became the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry tonight, inducted by Opry member John Conlee before an Opry House audience including family, friends, and fans.
Officially welcoming Morgan as an Opry member, Conlee said, “I had the great pleasure of being the Opry member to first bring him on this stage the first time he guested on the Grand Ole Opry, and what an honor that was. As we’ve become friends…it was plain to me that no one loves the Grand Ole Opry more than this young man right here. He loves it as much as he loves his country, and he’s proven that with his service to his country before.” Turning to Morgan, Conlee continued, “I’m proud to call you friend and I’m proud to call you ‘brother Grand Ole Opry member Craig Morgan’. Welcome to the family, sir.”
“Thank you so much,” Morgan replied. “I didn’t prepare a speech because I knew I would probably mess it up. I am extremely honored and grateful to the Grand Ole Opry. I am proud to be a part of it and I hope I can uphold its standards.”
Morgan made his Grand Ole Opry debut on April 21, 2000 and was invited to become an Opry member during a special concert for U.S. troops at Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina on September 18. That evening was a homecoming of sorts for the singer, who was stationed at Ft. Bragg from 1990 to 1992 during his ten-year active duty tenure in the US Army’s 82nd Airborne Division.
“If you love country music, you have to love Craig Morgan,” said Opry Vice President and General Manger Pete Fisher. “Everything about Craig speaks quality, from the way he writes and sings his songs to the way he lives his life. The Grand Ole Opry is proud to welcome such a fine man to our esteemed membership roster.”
The induction aired live on Opry Live on GAC: Great American Country. The Opry Member Award presented to Morgan during the induction is a 14-inch bronze and oak wood replica of the Opry’s vintage microphone stand designed by renowned sculptor Bill Rains. Fans can visit Youtube.com/OpryLive to see the induction moment plus a live Opry performance of Morgan’s new single “Love Remembers.”
Morgan is a Nashville native who has built his tremendous popularity with massive radio airplay of his signature hits, including: “Love Remembers,” “Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “International Harvester,” and “That’s What I Love About Sunday,” which was Billboard’s Most Played Country Song of 2005. He has performed on the Grand Ole Opry more than 130 times, and plays over 200 sold-out concerts a year. Morgan is signed to Sony Music Entertainment’s BNA Records, and released his fifth studio album, That’s Why, just this week.
He spent ten years on active duty in the U.S. Army before launching his music career, and makes a point to perform as often as possible at U.S. military installations both in the U.S. and abroad. He was awarded the USO Merit Award in 2006 for his tireless support of U.S. soldiers and their families. He lives just outside of Nashville with his wife Karen and their four children.
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. 16. 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 and CMT Canada. 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