Lainey Wilson Invited to be Next Grand Ole Opry Member


With the tear that Lainey Wilson has been on lately, it was only a matter of time before she was named a member of the Grand Ole Opry. As the reigning CMA and ACM Entertainer of the Year, if anything, the Opry was in arrears tenuring an invitation for her to become the next performer to be asked into the circle. Now that has happened.

On the season finale of The Voice Tuesday evening (5-21), Reba McEntire surprised Lainey Wilson with the official invitation. Reba is currently a judge on the show, and Wilson was performing her latest single “Hang Tight Honey” on the finale.

“Lainey, I am so proud of you,” Reba said. “I am thrilled to death if I had anything to do with your career, ’cause you’re blowing it up. 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 to bridge the gap between our generations. I’d like to be the person who invites you to be an official member of the Grand Ole Opry.”

It’s important to note, the Grand Ole Opry’s parent company and NBC/Universal recently entered into a media partnership, making the cross promotional opportunity on The Voice finale for both companies too good to pass up.

Lainey Wilson is a solid pick for the next Opry member. She’s generally well liked both among fans and the country industry, as well as steadfast in her commitment to country music. She’s an Opry member from the newer crop of performers who you feel will truly cherish the opportunity and honor her commitments.

“My family is here tonight, and they took me to Nashville when I was 9 years old,” Wilson said. “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. And it’s crazy that you’re asking me to be a member.”

That said, there is chatter from many country music fans that Lainey Wilson is being so lauded and bestowed with so many opportunities at the moment, there’s a fear she could become overexposed, or her career could be overheating. That’s rarely a concern when it comes to a music star, but with Lainey receiving everything while so many other performers wait in the wings, it can result in resentment or an inability to meet expectations, even if people consider Lainey favorably.

Nonetheless, the deal is done, and Lainey will be the next Opry member as soon as she is officially inducted. The invite comes just two days after Lainey Wilson’s 32nd birthday.

The most recent invitees to the Grand Ole Opry include Jon Pardi (April 2023), Sara Evans (August 2023), Scotty McCreery (December 2024), and T. Graham Brown (February 2024).

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