Chris Young is officially the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry, after one of his heroes invited him to join back in August, and another inducted him on Tuesday night.
“If you pick two people that I’ve been lucky enough to not only get to know, but also grew up loving their music and have been to one of their shows… [it would be] Vince Gill and Brad Paisley,” Chris said before taking the stage. “Vince being the one that asked me to become a member, and Brad being the one inducting me is just incredibly special.”
That didn’t stop Brad from having a little fun at his expense, however.
“On the way up here, I texted him,” Chris explained. “And you know, this is just a huge deal for me, so I’m emotional today, and I’m sending everybody like really nice messages, and Brad just brought me right back to reality, perfectly…”
“I texted him,” he continued, “I was like, ‘Man, I really appreciate you being here tonight, and wanting to be the one that inducts me. That means a lot…’”
“He goes, ‘I called the Opry like two or three times, but I couldn’t get ’em to change their mind, so I figured I might as well show up.’ Which is, if you’ve ever been around Brad Paisley, is not surprising. I was like, ‘Thanks, dude. Love you too!’” Chris laughed.
In addition to his first #1, “Gettin’ You Home,” and his hit “I’m Comin’ Over,” Chris played two songs especially for the occasion: Marty Robbins’ “Devil Woman” was a song his granddad played for him growing up. Before doing Keith Whitley’s “When You Say Nothing at All,” Chris recalled how his admiration for the late singer had made him especially excited to sign with his label, RCA.
“This is a zoo,” Brad quipped, after coming on stage for the induction ceremony. “It’s not a museum of inanimate objects — you can come see the animals!”
In a more serious moment, Brad added, “This is a great human being. This is what the Opry needs,” before giving Chris the statue that signifies his membership.
Chris then walked to the back of the stage where his mother was seated, hugged her and handed her the trophy, before bringing Cassadee Pope on to sing their #1 duet, “Think of You.”
Losing Sleep, Chris’s seventh album, comes out on Friday.
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