Opry Returns Home, Invites Shelton To Join

Trace Adkins asks Blake Shelton to join the Grand Ole Opry.

The Grand Ole Opry returned to the Grand Ole Opry House last night (9/28) for the first time since the May floods ravaged the show’s longtime home. Nine-year Opry member Brad Paisley and 61-year Opry veteran Jimmy Dickens opened the show, singing “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” while standing on the famed circle of wood from the Ryman Auditorium that was covered by 46 inches of water during the flood. It has been painstakingly refurbished and returned to its rightful spot center stage. The Opry continued throughout the summer from other Nashville venues without missing a single broadcast.

“This night shows the heart of the Opry like I’ve never seen it before,” Paisley said. “Every single artist on that stage tonight was absolutely overcome with emotion when that curtain went up. This American tradition is stronger than ever, and I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

During the show Blake Shelton received an invitation to become an official Opry member. After he and Opry member Trace Adkins performed their hit “Hillbilly Bone,” Adkins handed Shelton—who is known for his active Twitter account—an iPhone with a tweet inviting him to join the Opry on Oct. 23. Shelton said, “This moment right here is hands-down the highlight of my career.”

Throughout the show, duets included Martina McBride and Connie Smith, Dierks Bentley and Del McCoury, Josh Turner and Lorrie Morgan, and Montgomery Gentry and Charlie Daniels Band. The show closed with an all-star guitar jam featuring Paisley, Keith Urban, Steve Wariner, Ricky Skaggs, and Marty Stuart.

“This was an historic, seminal night for the Grand Ole Opry,” said Opry President Steve Buchanan. “Seeing country music’s top artists share unforgettable performances on stage after watching the endless hours of work a virtual army put into making sure the Opry House recovered from the flood and opened ahead of schedule gives me the utmost confidence in the Opry’s future.”

The Opry House’s post-flood refurbishment includes 18 new dressing rooms, a Grand Ole Opry Member Gallery, a completely reconstructed Opry Shop, and a host of technical advancements such as HD projection.

The night kicked off the Opry’s month-long 85th Birthday Celebration, which is scheduled to include performances by Craig Morgan, Kevin Costner, Taylor Swift, Dolly Parton, and more. One highlight will be when the Opry Goes Pink on Oct. 15 to promote breast cancer awareness, with appearances by The Judds, and actress Kimberly Williams-Paisley.

Two videos below.

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Category: Artist, Featured, Flood2010

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Sarah Skates has worked in the music business for more than a decade and is a longtime contributor to MusicRow.

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