‘American Idol’ Alum HunterGirl Tears Up at Debut Grand Ole Opry Performance: “It Was a Full-Circle Moment”

HunterGirl made her Grand Ole Opry debut on Saturday (March 2), and the American Idol alum described it as a “full-circle moment.” The country singer-songwriter teared up when her performance earned her a standing ovation from family, friends, and supporters in the audience.

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“I told myself I wouldn’t cry, but it’s hard not to,” she said in a clip of the performance she posted on social media. She first sang an unreleased song titled “Clockworks,” which earned her that standing ovation. HunterGirl then introduced her next song, “Ain’t About You,” and shared the sentimental meaning behind it.

“This next song is my first single at country radio. I’m so excited about it,” she began. “This song is everything to me. It’s a song I wrote by myself when nothing was going on for me in Nashville a few years ago and I’ve wanted to do this since I was a kid. I came home one day after playing a show and just didn’t know if anything was ever going to work out for me. I picked up my guitar, sat on my floor and called this one my ’45-minute conversation with Jesus.’”

She concluded, before launching into the song, “This is my leaving Nashville song. It’s my staying in Nashville song now and it’s a full circle moment getting to be in this circle tonight. Thank you, guys.”

[RELATED: Watch ‘American Idol’ Alum HunterGirl Reveal to Family She’s Fulfilling Childhood Dream of Performing at the Grand Ole Opry]

HunterGirl Moves the Grand Ole Opry Audience to Its Feet During her Heartfelt Debut

“Ain’t About You” managed to reach some milestones when it was released to country radio. It was most-added on streaming services the week of October 23, 2023. Additionally, with this song, HunterGirl became the first woman in 30 years to singularly write her own debut radio single, according to a report from Country Now.

Posting about her appearance on social media, HunterGirl wrote, “Singing on that stage felt like becoming a part of something greater than myself. Thank you guys so much for coming on this journey with me.”

Fans shared their support in the comments. One wrote, “you got me crying. I am so proud of you young lady!! I wish all your follows knew your heart…. It’s even better than your music! I love you!”

Another commented, “I love it when the good guys win. Watching you win and chase your dream is a true JOY. Always rooting for you girl.”

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