Kelsea Ballerini To Become Opry’s Newest Member

Photo: Chris Hollo/Opry

Kelsea Ballerini was surprised on Tuesday night’s show by Opry group Little Big Town with an invitation to become an official Grand Ole Opry member. After Ballerini performed her segment, Little Big Town took the stage to close out the show, inviting Ballerini back to perform the group’s hit “Girl Crush” with them. As the song concluded, the band changed its final lyrics to “Kelsea Ballerini, do you wanna join the Opry?”

“Yes,” Ballerini exclaimed, “I’m gonna pass out I think!” Collecting her thoughts, Ballerini recalled having visited the Opry at age 13 with her mother and knowing then that she wanted to support the Opry, even if only as a fan. “To be on this stage is the greatest gift in the world,” she said. “This is the home of country music, and I get to be a part of it.”

“For the rest of your life,” Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild added.

Ballerini’s formal Opry induction is set for Tuesday, April 16.

“We are thrilled at the thought of Kelsea Ballerini joining the Opry family,” said Opry General Manager Sally Williams. “So many of us at the Opry have been fans of her recordings, her songwriting, and her live performances since she played the Opry for the very first time. Having grown to know her personally in the years since, we love and respect her just as much as a person as an artist. We look so forward to her Opry induction in April and to all the years of great music we’ll share.”

Ballerini was a Best Country Album nominee at the recent Grammy awards, and is the first female country artist to reach the No. 1 spot with each of her first three consecutive singles from her debut album For The First Time. She sent three tracks from that album to the top of the charts, including “Love Me Like You Mean It,” “Dibs,” and “Peter Pan.”

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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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