Crystal Gayle will be the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. This is the news out of Tuesday night’s (11-15) Opry presentation where Carrie Underwood surprised the crowd by walking out and inviting Gayle to the legendary country music institution while Gayle was performing her signature song, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue.” Obviously, Gayle accepted, and she will be officially inducted on January 21st.
“I was sent tonight to ask you if you would like to join our Opry family officially, and be inducted into the Grand Ole Opry,” Underwood said to a surprised Crystal Gayle, who though Underwood was only in attendance to sing a duet with her. Carrie Underwood is one of the Opry’s most active mainstream members, and was in town in between tour stops to do the honors.
“I have always felt like I was a member of the family and this is just so special,” Gayle responded.
The 65-year-old Crystal Gayle is the younger sister of country queen Loretta Lynn, and has amassed 20 #1 hits and six gold albums throughout her career. Though she commonly performs on the Grand Ole Opry, the induction will make her the institution’s first new member since Little Big Town was inducted in October of 2014. This is one of the longest periods between inducting new Opry members in recent memory, and had many speculating who and when a new Opry member would be named.
The induction of Crystal Gayle also is a big win for country music traditionalists who want to see the storied institution embrace more older artists, especially since they are the ones fulfilling the majority of the performance slots these days. There has also been much made about the lack of performances from newer artists who’ve been inducted recently. Picking Crystal Gale ensures the Opry that their newest member will take the honor seriously, and fulfill her performance obligations.