Sara Evans was invited to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry last night (Aug. 17) during her sold-out show at the Ryman Auditorium. She was asked the special question by the Opry’s longest-serving member, Country Music Hall of Famer Bill Anderson.
The pair was joined by Opry members Lady A and Carly Pearce for the special moment. Evans was surprised onstage during the show that celebrated the release of Sara Evans Still Restless – The 20 Year Celebration, which commemorates the 20th anniversary of her Platinum album Restless.
Following a collaboration between Evans and Pearce on “Suds In The Bucket,” Pearce introduced Lady A to present a Platinum plaque for the song. Immediately after that surprise presentation, Lady A’s Hillary Scott welcomed Anderson to the stage. He recalled how he had gone to see Evans perform in a small warehouse showcase before her first album was released because she had included his song “Walk Out Backwards” in her project.
After being asked to become a member of the Opry by Anderson, Evans acknowledged she’d hoped for Opry membership for many years and tearfully accepted. Thanking her mom in the audience for pushing her and her siblings to perform as they were all growing up, Evans said to the crowd, “God is so good.” Evans will be inducted into the Opry on Oct. 7 as part of the Opry’s 98th Birthday Weekend.
“I remember clearly watching Sara’s Opry debut live on television before I ever made the move to Nashville,” says Opry Executive Producer Dan Rogers. “Like nearly anyone about to take that stage for the first time, she was both thankful and overwhelmed, and she said in an interview minutes before her performance that to help with her jitters, she was going to pretend to be Patsy Cline. Watching as a fan at home, I thought that was a pretty incredible approach. More than 25 years later, I think she was once again tonight both thankful and overwhelmed. All of us at the Opry have appreciated her great performances every time she’s visited us and look forward to celebrating official Opry membership with her during what is going to be a great October Opry Birthday Weekend.”
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