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Lainey Wilson invited by Reba McEntire to join Grand Ole Opry

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Lainey Wilson will become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry after receiving a surprise invitation to join the Opry family from longtime Opry member Reba McEntire.

McEntire extended the honor after Wilson after she performed her latest single, “Hang Tight Honey” on the finale of NBC’s, sharing: “Lainey, I am so proud of you. You did a wonderful job. I have heard that I’ve inspired you and what you’ve done so far, and I am thrilled to death if I had anything to do with your career, ’cause you are blowing it up.” I was so proud of you at the ACMs the other night, and I couldn’t be more proud to be the one that helps you continue to bridge the gap between our generations, keep ’em all goin’. I’d like to be the person who invites you to be an official member of the Grand Ole Opry.”

Wilson tearfully accepted, hugging McEntire on stage and sharing: “somebody pinch me. This is the moment little Lainey dreamed about ever since her first trip to Nashville. My family’s over here tonight, and I will say, they took me to Nashville when I was nine years old and we went to the Grand Ole Opry, and we saw Bill Anderson and Crystal Gayle and Little Jimmy Dickens, and I knew that I wanted to play there, I wanted to do it. It is so crazy that you’re asking me to be a member ’cause I look up to you so much. I’m not talking about just musically, but the way that you carry yourself and your work ethic, you inspire me every day.”  She ended by thanking McEntire for “the surprise of a lifetime.” McEntire later presented Wilson with a gift commemorating the occasion, a custom-made belt buckle reading “Opry” and “Lainey” with “2024” emblazoned on its reverse side.

Wilson will be inducted into the Opry family on Friday, June 7th.

Editorial credit: Nestor Salgado /

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