Kelsea Ballerini Invited to Join the Grand Ole Opry
Little Big Town were closing out Tuesday night's performance and invited Ballerini -- who had just finished her own segment of the show -- to sing their hit "Girl Crush" with them. The band changed the final line of the song to "Kelsea Ballerini, do you wanna join the Opry?"
"Yes!" Ballerini replied, after a few moments of stunned silence. "I'm gonna pass out I think ... To be on this stage is the greatest gift in the world. This is the home of country music, and I get to be a part of it.”
Interjected LBT's Karen Fairchild, "For the rest of your life."
On Instagram, after the special moment, Ballerini reflected further: "This has been at the very top of my bucket list since I wrote my first songs at 12 years old, and tonight the heart of country music wrapped their arms around me and asked me to be family," she writes. "In tears over how much this means to me. Thank you thank you thank you."
Ballerini made her Grand Ole Opry debut on Feb. 14, 2015, performing her then-current debut single, "Love Me Like You Mean It," as well as her song "The First Time." The latter is the title track of her debut album, while the former became her first No. 1 single.
"My goal is just not to cry until I get off the stage," Ballerini told The Boot prior to the big night. "Honestly, if I do that, then I'm okay."
Ballerini will officially join the Opry on April 16.
"So many of us at the Opry have been fans of her recordings, her songwriting and her live performances since she played the Opry for the very first time," says Grand Ole Opry General Manager Sally Williams. "Having grown to know her personally in the years since, we love and respect her just as much as a person as an artist."
The Grand Ole Opry Through the Years