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Lainey Wilson's Grand Ole Opry Invitation From Reba: A Moment of Country Music Magic

In a heartwarming and unexpected twist, country music sensation Lainey Wilson received the invitation of a lifetime live on NBC’s “The Voice.” During her appearance on the popular show, Wilson was surprised by none other than country legend and Grand Ole Opry member, Reba McEntire, who extended an invitation for Wilson to join the esteemed ranks of the Grand Ole Opry. This momentous occasion marks another milestone in Wilson’s meteoric rise in the country music scene.

Photo credit: Courtesy NBCUniversal

Lainey Wilson, the GRAMMY® Award-winning singer-songwriter, and bell bottom queen has been captivating audiences with her heartfelt lyrics and soulful performances. Her journey, which began in Louisiana, has seen her rise to multi-platinum status and earn titles such as CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year. Wilson’s Opry debut on February 14, 2020, was a sign of her deep connection with the historic institution, making her upcoming induction on June 7 even more poignant.

The surprise unfolded right after Wilson’s stellar performance on “The Voice.” Reba McEntire, known for her own illustrious career and deep ties to the Opry, walked onto the stage, brimming with pride. “Lainey, I am so proud of you. You did a wonderful job. 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 said, her voice filled with emotion. She then extended the invitation, marking a new chapter in Wilson’s career.

Adding to the magic of the moment, McEntire presented Wilson with a custom-made belt buckle, a symbolic gift commemorating the invitation. The buckle, inscribed with “Opry” and “Lainey” on the front and “2024” on the reverse, is a keepsake Wilson will surely treasure.

Dan Rogers, the Opry’s executive producer, echoed the sentiment, stating, “There is not a doubt in my mind that Lainey will make an impact on country music and the Grand Ole Opry for generations to come. On the eve of the Opry’s 100th year, we’re so very excited to say ‘welcome home’ to one of country music's great voices and personalities.”

For Lainey Wilson, this invitation is the realization of a lifelong dream. “I am so incredibly honored to be invited to become an official member of the Grand Ole Opry, and to have the legendary Reba McEntire surprise me during tonight’s show was such an unforgettable moment,” she shared, reflecting on the significance of the event. “This is something I’ve always dreamed of, ever since my first trip to the Opry when I was nine years old. I will never forget this moment!”

Wilson’s accolades include the 2024 ACM Awards for ‘Entertainer of the Year’ and ‘Female Artist of the Year.’ Her journey with the Opry began as a member of the Opry NextStage class of 2021, and she has since become a mentor to upcoming artists, embodying the spirit of the Opry community.

Looking ahead, Wilson is set to release her new forthcoming studio album Whirlwind, out on August 23rd. Fans can also catch her live as she kicks off her 2024 headlining “Country’s Cool Again” tour on May 31st in Nashville, TN.

As Lainey Wilson steps into the spotlight as a member of the Grand Ole Opry, her story is a testament to hard work, passion, and the enduring power of dreams. Her induction is not just a personal triumph but a celebration for all of country music, heralding the arrival of a new era while honoring the rich traditions of the past.


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