Reba McEntire Surprises Lainey Wilson With Invite To Become Newest Member Of Grand Ole Opry

The emotional moment took place during NBC’s The Voice finale on Tuesday evening (May 21). Watch McEntire invite Wilson to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry.

By

Andrew Wendowski

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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Posted on May 21, 2024

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Reba McEntire, Lainey Wilson; Photo Courtesy of Tyler Golden/NBC

Reba McEntire surprised Lainey Wilson with an invitation to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry during NBC’s The Voice finale on Tuesday evening (May 21).

Reba McEntire Surprises Lainey Wilson With Invitation To Become Opry Member

After the reigning CMA and ACM Entertainer Of The Year delivered a show-stopping performance of Whirlwind track “Hang Tight Honey,” The Voice host Carson Daly returned to the stage and gave the microphone to country music icon, Reba McEntire, who is currently serving as a coach on the coveted singing competition show.

“Lainey I am so proud of you, you did a wonderful job and I have heard that I’ve inspired you and what you have done so far, and I thrilled to death if I have anything to do with your career because you are blowing it up,” McEntire told Wilson as they stood center stage. Wilson replied, “you are so sweet.”

McEntire continued, “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 going. I’d like to be the first one to invite you to be an official member of the Grand Ole Opry.”

Lainey Wilson, Photo Courtesy of Tyler Golden/NBC
Lainey Wilson, Photo Courtesy of Tyler Golden/NBC

Wilson, in a state of shock, gasped and began to cry before she shared a hug with McEntire.

“Oh my gosh…. Holy moly!!! Best birthday gift right there,” Wilson admitted as tears streamed down her cheek and she earned a standing ovation.

The “Hang Tight Honey” Singer Tearfully Accepts Opry Invitation

Lainey Wilson, donning a sparkling black bell-bottom ensemble complete with fringe, then took to the microphone to and graciously accepted the prestigious honor as her family and team watched from the front row of the star-studded audience that also included Dan + Shay, John Legend and Chance The Rapper.

“First of all, my family is over here tonight, and I will say they took me to Nashville when I was 9 years old, and we went to the Grand Ole Opry, and we saw Bill Anderson, Crystal Gayle and Little Jimmy Dickens and I knew that I wanted to play there. I wanted to do it,” Wilson said. She then went on to speak directly to Reba McEntire and thank her for inspiring her to become the artist she is. “It is so crazy that you are asking me to be a member because I look up to you so much. I’m not talking about just musically, but the way you carry yourself and your work ethic. You inspired me every day,” Wilson concluded.

Following the invitation, Wilson took to social media to share her excitement.

“Somebody pinch me… I’m going to become a member of the Opry on June 7!” Wilson wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “This is the moment little Lainey dreamed about ever since her first trip to Nashville. Thank you, Reba & The Voice for the surprise of a lifetime.”

Lainey Wilson made her official Opry debut on Valentine’s Day (February 14) in 2020. Since making her Opry debut, the “Country’s Cool Again” singer has graced the sacred Opry stage many of times and was also a part of the Opry Next Stage class of 2021.

Lainey Wilson’s official Opry induction is set for June 7, 2024.

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Written by

Andrew Wendowski is the Founder and CEO of Music Mayhem. As a 29-year-old entrepreneur, he oversees content as the Editor-In-Chief for the independent brand. Wendowski, who splits time between Philadelphia, Penn., and Nashville, Tenn., has an extensive background in multimedia. Before launching Music Mayhem in 2014, he worked as a highly sought-after photojournalist and tour photographer, collaborating with such labels as Interscope Records and Republic Records. He has captured photos of some of the biggest names, including Taylor Swift, Metallica, Harry Styles, P!NK, Morgan Wallen, Carrie Underwood, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Shania Twain, and hundreds more. Wendowski’s photos and freelance work have appeared nationwide and can be seen everywhere from ad campaigns to various publications, including Billboard and Rolling Stone. When Wendowski isn’t running Music Mayhem, he enjoys spending time at concerts, traveling, and capturing photos.

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