Little Big Town Becomes Newest Grand Ole Opry Member

Photo: 2014 Grand Ole Opry/Chris Hollo

Photo: 2014 Grand Ole Opry/Chris Hollo

Little Big Town was formally inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on Friday, Oct. 17 by Opry members Little Jimmy Dickens and Vince Gill. The quartet had previously been invited to join the Opry on Oct. 3 by Opry member Reba McEntire.

The evening of the 17th marked a major milestone for Karen Fairchild, Phillip Sweet, Kimberly Schlapman, and Jimi Westbrook, whose first-ever public performance together was on the Opry in 1999. The quartet opened its set with “Bring it On Home,” hearkening back to its Opry debut, when – as the members recalled backstage – they had been accompanied by only a borrowed guitar.

After the group’s performance of “Boondocks,” Dickens and Gill took the stage along with Opry VP/GM Pete Fisher to present the group with its Opry Member Award.

“The word ‘family’ really means something out here. It really does,” Gill said to the group. “You’ll make friends like I have with this man right here,” he continued, nodding to Dickens. “You’ll be so be blessed by the friends you’ll make out here, and they’ll last your entire life. Welcome to the family, and remember to come here as often as you can.”

The members invited Gill to join them on their final song of the night, the Kris Kristofferson classic “Why Me.”

“Welcome them home!” Gill cheered before a standing ovation sold out audience.

Photo: 2014 Grand Ole Opry/Chris Hollo

Photo: 2014 Grand Ole Opry/Chris Hollo

Backstage, group members reflected on having grown up with the Opry and on its importance to their music. “This feels like the biggest moment of our lives and our career,” Schlapman said.

“There’s nothing like walking those halls backstage,” added Westbrook, later sharing amazement with the other members that the group’s name would be added to the Opry Member Gallery at the Opry House backstage entrance.

The Platinum-selling group has earned more than 25 award show nominations. Most recently, Little Big Town completed their sixth studio album with producer Jay Joyce, titled Pain Killer.

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