Country Music News

Jon Pardi was surprised on Friday night (4/29) when he was playing Stagecoach in his native California. His friend Guy Fieri directed him and the attention of his thousands of cheering fans to a video. The video was of Opry member and Country Music Hall of Famer Alan Jackson officially inviting the California native to become the newest member of the Opry.

Jon said after the invitation from the stage, “I moved to Nashville chasing a dream at 22 years old, and now I’m here. I love you guys, and I love country music. Thank you, everybody. This is an amazing night. I’ll never forget it.” He added, “I always wondered how this might happen if it was going to. I never imagined anything this great. That was incredible.”

Dan Rogers, Opry executive producer, told the crowd after he sat the Opry mic stand down in front of Pardi, “That mic stand represents the future of country music as well as its incredible history. This night will go down in history, too, both because Jon is the first artist invited to join the Opry on this stage and because he’s the first native Californian to get that call. What a great night!”

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Rogers added backstage, “For nearly a decade now, Jon Pardi has been adding something great to the show every single time he plays the Opry. For personally, I’ll never forget the big sounds he brought to the Opry stage during the pandemic. And the way he connected with audiences around the world via our live stream. I have no doubt there are good times ahead for all of us with Jon as a future Opry member.”  An official induction date will be announced soon.

Five Country Superstars Who Are Not Opry Members

  • Tim McGraw

    Tim made his Grand Ole Opry debut in December 2003. After that, he played it a few times, but never that much, and now he doesn’t play the Grand Ole Opry at all. Not sure why.

  • Faith Hill

    Faith played the Opry in the late 1990s when her career started to hit. She didn’t play the Opry stage much after that.

  • George Strait

    George Strait
    Vince Bucci/Getty Images

    George played the Grand Ole Opry show once, his debut performance on the stage in October of 1982. That was the first and last time, and no one really knows why. There is a theory that he could not make the Opry commitment to play the stage very much because he never lived in Nashville; he has always resided in Texas.

  • Miranda Lambert

    Miranda played the Grand Ole Opry several times in her career, and some of her most recent performances on the Opry stage were in 2014 with then-husband Blake Shelton and in 2015 and 2016. She does not play it often now, and in 2015, she told me when asked about the Grand Ole Opry and someday becoming a member, “It’s sort of something I don’t talk about or have never asked or say that out loud. It was always a big deal to Blake, so that was something we always talked about, and he became a member, but I’d never really set it out for myself.” She added, “It wasn’t on my radar before because I focused on that for him, but I would definitely never say no to being a member of the Grand Ole Opry.”

  • Kenny Chesney

    Kenny Chesney
    Scott Gries/Getty Images

    Kenny made his Opry debut in 1996. He has been on the Opry stage a handful of times and once when he paid tribute to George Jones singing his classic, “White Lightning.” These days it’s very rare to see Chesney on the Grand Ole Opry stage.

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