It’s a whirlwind week for Chris Young, who announced an upcoming world tour and is releasing his new album, Losing Sleep, on Friday, Oct. 20. Kicking off that whirlwind week is a milestone event— held in high regard in the country music industry— the induction into the Grand Ole Opry.
Chris became the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry Tuesday night (Oct. 17) during a celebration with close friends and family, including his mother, stepfather, sister and grandparents, who were all on hand to watch Chris stand in that famous circle on the Opry stage, being presented with the Opry’s highest honor by his good friend, Brad Paisley.
“I would say if you picked two people that I’ve been lucky enough to not only get to know but also grew up loving their music, it’s Vince Gill and Brad Paisley,” Chris told One Country prior to the induction. “Vince being the one that asked me to become a member and Brad being the one inducting me, is just incredibly special. This is a huge deal for me.”
The Tennessee native took the Opry stage to treat the crowd to a performance of his hits, “Gettin’ You Home,” “I’m Comin’ Over,” and covers of Marty Robbins “Devil Woman” and Keith Whitley’s “When You Say Nothing At All.”
It was then that Brad walked out to present Chris with the Opry Member Award—presented to each official member of the Opry family. “This is a really big deal. Look where you’re standing. In the circle,” Brad began.
“I’m serious when I say you are part of something that’s living and breathing,” Brad continued. “You will have a home on this stage for the rest of your life. You can come out and sing any song you want to sing and we will be so proud to have you here. I love you and I can’t wait for you to be… I guess I get to say this, Chris Young is the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.”
The Opry crowd erupted in applause and stood to their feet as Chris became their newest member. After shaking hands and hugging Brad, he kept his speech short and sweet.
“I don’t know exactly what I’m supposed to say,” Chris said. “So the two best words I can think of are thank you.”
Chris walked off the circle to find his mother, Becky Harris, who was sitting side stage as her baby boy was inducted. He walked over to his mom, said “I don’t trust anyone else to hold on to it” and gave her a great big hug.
The 32-year-old returned to the stage to close out the show with friend and duet partner, Cassadee Pope, performing the pair’s No. 1 hit “Think Of You.”
As the night ended, Chris retreated backstage for a celebratory reception where he was presented with a hatch show print to commemorate the night and a giant cake to which he made the first cut.
And with that, Chris Young became the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry family.
Photo by Chris Hollo/Hollo Photographics/Grand Ole Opry