Talk about a full circle moment… I think the headline says it all.
First and foremost, a massive congratulations are in order for the great Ashley McBryde.
She was officially inducted as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry last night, and I couldn’t be happier to see one of country music’s finest finally receive such a well-deserved honor.
After being joined by Terri Clark for a performance of her incredible hit “Girl Goin’ Nowhere,” Clark was given the honor of formally making a tearful Ashley a member of the Opry:
“To me, the Opry is about family. It is a family. And my sister, you have earned your place at the table more than anybody I know.
And I know that I, along with all of your fans, and all of your peers, and your mom and your dad and your family, everybody that’s here tonight, have been patiently waiting to hear the words:
Congratulations Ashley McBryde. You are officially a member of the Grand Ole Opry.”
Ashley then addressed the crowd for the first time as a Grand Ole Opry member, saying in part:
“It is important what we do. And this moment is the biggest of my life.
And if it is your first time to be in the Grand Ole Opry, this is what it feels like every time you’re here. It looks like it’s made of brick and mortar but it is pure, pure love. That is what you’re experiencing here.
So thank you. I know what this means, I know what my responsibilities are. I take them seriously. And God bless country music.”
And none other than her friend, Mr. Eric Church, was on hand to help celebrate.
If you recall, Eric first brought Ashley out to play it with him back in 2017 at the Allstate Arena right outside of Chicago, which was the first time most people had ever heard of the Arkansas native.
Of course, she’d been busting her ass for years touring and making music, but as you’ll hear her mention in a second, it was the first time she’d ever played for a crowd anywhere near the size of 20,000-plus people.
She also said that it was the first time she’d ever worn in-ear monitors, so it’s pretty cool to see just how far she’s come in a relatively short amount of time.
Five years ago at that show, Eric introduced her by saying the following:
“I mentioned I had a guest and there’s a young lady here who I have become a massive fan of and you guys are gonna be a massive fan of her real soon.
She’s just starting this journey of her career and she’s unquestionable my favorite artist out right now that’s not out yet, but she will be real soon.
So I invited her to come out and just here and I are gonna do an acoustic song that she wrote. And she’s a whiskey drinking badass, that’s what she is… please make welcome miss Ashley McBryde.”
And he couldn’t have been more right.
So of course, last night during the “biggest moment” of her life, Ashley had to bring Eric out to recreate that special moment:
“Thank you. Well, I guess I better… Eric, would you come out here? Ladies and gentlemen, Eric Church.
I figured since the first time I had ever played in an arena or seen 19-to-25,000 people in one building at the same time or use in-ear monitors was when Eric put me on stage in Chicago.
Pretty damn special to see that “whiskey drinking badass” he first brought to the stage so many years ago is now a member of the Grand Ole Opry, thanks in part to Eric’s belief in her and introducing to a massive new audience of country music fans.
You absolutely love to see it… what a special moment and kickass duo.
Ashley McBryde is everything I love about country music and so much more:
And if you’ve never seen the original performance, you absolutely must change that right now: