Kelsea Ballerini stepped into the iconic circle of the Grand Ole Opry stage to perform a song by one of her “favorite female country heroes,” Alison Krauss. Ballerini’s performance was in celebration of the Opry‘s 95th Anniversary and aired during NBC’s two-hour special, Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music.
Ballerini, who was inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in the Spring of 2019, explained that she chose to perform “When You Say Nothing At All,” in honor of Krauss and other country female artists that came before her.
“I’m here in the dressing room where some of the biggest stars in the history of country music get themselves ready to walk onto the Opry stage, it’s official name is the Women Of Country and on this wall and this one are pictures of the legendary female singers who inspired me and so many others,” Ballerini shared as clips of Patsy Cline, Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Tammy Wynette, Reba McEntire, Pam Tillis, Connie Smith, Crystal Gayle, and more appeared on the screen. “These women that have just blazed a trail and just define what it means to be a woman in country music. Having them be on the walls and surround you as you’re getting ready to step onto the same stage that they have. It’s empowering and it’s important.”
Alison Krauss and Union Station released a version of “When Say Nothing At All” in 1995. The track was originally recorded by Keith Whitley in 1988.
Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music also featured performances from Trisha Yearwood, Dierks Bentley, Garth Brooks, Lady A, Little Big Town, Little Big Town, Old Crow Medicine Show, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Kane Brown, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, Marty Stuart and Carrie Underwood.
The show also gave fans a look back at some of the most iconic performances in Opry history and showcased archived Opry interview and performance footage from today’s Opry members and legendary artists.
Additionally, the two-hour special also included star-studded collaborations from Darius Rucker featuring Old Crow Medicine Show, Carrie Underwood with Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley and Marty Stuart, Vince Gill featuring Reba McEntire and more.
Hosted by Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton, Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music aired on Sunday, February 14 at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.