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Lainey Wilson's Grand Ole Opry Induction: A Night of Dreams Fulfilled

From a wide-eyed nine-year-old in Baskin, Louisiana, dreaming of the big stage, to standing in the iconic circle of the Grand Ole Opry, Lainey Wilson's journey is nothing short of inspirational. On Friday night, June 7, surrounded by family, friends, and country music legends, Wilson achieved what many consider the pinnacle of a country artist's career: induction into the Grand Ole Opry.

Grand Ole Opry/Photo by Chris Hollo

The evening was filled with heartfelt moments and surprise appearances, with country superstars Trisha Yearwood and Garth Brooks leading the induction ceremony. Their presence added a layer of magic and significance to the night. Yearwood, a trailblazer for women in country music, highlighted the importance of Wilson's achievement. “I may be a little bit biased, but there can never be enough women inducted into the Grand Ole Opry,” she said, her voice filled with admiration. “You get it. You know what it means to love country music, you love the Opry. When I think about the future of country music, I know with you in it, we’re going to be OK."

For Lainey Wilson, this moment was the culmination of years of hard work and dedication. Her recent accolades, including the ACM and CMA Awards for her album "Bell Bottom Country" and a Grammy for best country album, had already cemented her status as one of the genre's leading artists. Yet, the Opry induction held a special place in her heart. “Tonight, it honestly feels like the biggest night of my life,” Wilson declared, emotion evident in her voice.

The night was a family affair, with Wilson bringing her immediate family and boyfriend, Devlin “Duck” Hodges, on stage. The support of her loved ones, who had been with her from the beginning, made the occasion even more poignant. Reflecting on her journey, Wilson shared, “As a little girl, I didn’t dream about my wedding day or what song I would play at my wedding, I dreamed about what song I would play in the circle.” This dream, nurtured from her first visit to the Opry at age nine, had now come full circle.

Wilson's path to the Opry stage was marked by determination and perseverance. Nine years after her initial visit, she moved to Nashville to pursue her dreams. Another nine years later, she made her Opry debut on Valentine’s Day 2020. Four years after that, she stood as a member of the prestigious institution. Her story is a testament to the power of dreams and hard work.

In true Opry tradition, the night concluded with a special performance. Garth Brooks, ever the showman, insisted that Wilson perform one more song as an official Opry member. With her newly presented trophy safely in Brooks' hands, Wilson delivered a spirited rendition of “Hang Tight Honey” from her upcoming album, "Whirlwind," set to release on August 23.

Lainey Wilson's induction into the Grand Ole Opry is not just a personal milestone but a celebration of her contributions to country music. As she continues her journey with the "Country's Cool Again Tour," fans can look forward to more memorable performances and heartfelt music from this rising star. Her story is a beacon of hope for aspiring artists, a reminder that with passion and perseverance, dreams do come true.


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