Lauren Alainais officially the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.
After being invited by Trisha Yearwood back in December to join the Opry, Lauren was officially inducted last night – and Trisha was back with some more surprises up her sleeve.
She kicked off the festivities by surprising Lauren with a message of congratulations from the legendary Dolly Parton herself:
“Hello Lauren. It’s Dolly.
Well, you and I have a lot in common. We both started young, we love country music, and we love the Grand Ole Opry. And I would give a million dollars if I could be there with Trisha and Garth and all the folks that love you to get you inducted into the Grand Ole Opry.
Nothin’ like it. I’ll never forget when I got to be on the Grand Ole Opry and when I got to be a member in 1968 I guess, 69, somewhere in there.
But I loved it and I love it still. And I just want to wish you the best in your whole career and good luck with the Grand Ole Opry. We love you.”
Lauren was clearly shocked by the message from one of her heroes, joking:
“She said my name.”
But then it was time to get down to business, and with Lauren standing in the famed circle, Trisha handed Lauren her trophy and officially made her the newest member of the country music institution.
In a tearful speech, Lauren told the cheering crowd just how much the honor meant to her:
“Since I was a little girl I dreamed of this moment. My family’s very musical – my dad grew up playing the banjo, and he dreamed of playing the Grand Ole Opry.
Both of my parents raised me with a huge appreciation for country music and all that it is, and all of the people – including you and Dolly Parton – who have come before me. I just want to say that I promise to do everything I can to represent country music.
I heard today that I am now the youngest living member of the Grand Ole Opry. That’s pretty cool. And I promise to represent this family well. I have felt like a family here as long as I can remember.
Like you said, from the people who help us with our parking spots to these guys that play on this stage with me to people who put you in your seats, everyone at the Opry has always made me feel like family so for me to finally be officially in is the biggest dream come true of all time.
Most little girls dream of their weddings. I dreamed of this. So hopefully now I can have a wedding too and we’ll be set.
God Bless you guys and God bless country music.”
But Trisha had one more surprise left when it came time for Lauren to give her first performance as an Opry member.
The pair were set to perform Trisha’s 1992 hit “Walkaway Joe” when Trisha announced that she needed to bring out her “guitar player” – her husband Garth Brooks.
Dolly, Garth, Trisha – not a bad crowd to join you for your Opry induction.
You can watch Lauren’s Opry induction, including the video message from Dolly and her performance with Garth and Trisha, here starting at 1 hour 12 minutes.