Carly Pearce officially became a member of the Grand Ole Opry during a tearful induction Tuesday night (August 3).
Living legend and long-standing Opry member Jeanie Seely had the pleasure of introducing Pearce to the stage. “Carly has all the obvious wonderful traits, but she has that one extra thing, determination,” said Seely. “She has the sincerest dedication and strongest work ethic of anyone I’ve ever known in my life. And she never strayed from her path of wanting to be a member of the Opry.”
Then, Trisha Yearwood took to the microphone to seal the deal, offering up a heartfelt welcome. “I want to tell you that I’m honored to be asked. This is the first time I’ve ever been asked to induct someone, and I got to meet you at an award show several years ago. I liked you immediately,” she said. “Your kindness… you’re a good egg. But you also have those pipes. You are truly a talent. Congratulations on all your success.
“This is not a club you can just join. This is a very special family you have to be invited into,” she continued. “When they ask you to become a member, it means that they know that you get it. You’re doing something great, but you also get what came before. It is with just joy and so much pride, and I represent everybody here at the Grand Ole Opry and all your fans, to say: Carly Pearce, you are now officially a member of the Grand Ole Opry.”
Met with thunderous applause, the singer-songwriter took a moment to collect herself, tears beginning to flush her cheeks. “There are a lot of things I could say, and I’ve tried to think about how to sum up what this means to me,” Pearce started. “And the best way I know how to describe it is when I was a little girl, I dreamt of country music and I dreamt of singing on this stage. My mamaw and papaw Pearce, I always told them if I ever made it here they would be front row. And they didn’t get to see that happen…
“But I really do genuinely feel like they are here with me tonight. I know it was as much my dream as it was there,” she continued. “I’ve seen a lot of my dreams come true over the last few years, but I think what makes this place so special, what makes this family such a place that I wanted to be a part of is because you can have hit records and sell-out shows, you can be on award shows—but all of that can fade. This is something I will have forever. It’s a stage to sing on, a circle to stand in and a family I can be a part of and can never be taken away from me.
“All I ever wanted to do was sing country music. The Grand Ole Opry let a 25-year-old Airbnb cleaner (yes, that’s me) stand on this stage before I ever had a record deal,” she added. “I feel like I’ve grown up in this industry over the last five years with them. This isn’t another accolade or feather in my cap; this is a promise to all of you and to this organization that I will do my due diligence to make sure the circle is never broken.”
During the induction ceremony, Pearce performed her new song “Dear Miss Loretta,” released this week as a duet with Patty Loveless,” “I Hope You’re Happy Now,” and then a duet with Yearwood on “How Do I Live.” The evening culminated with Pearce, Seely, and Yearwood joining forces for a powerful performance of Kitty Wells’ “Making Believe.”
The induction will air on August 14 on Circle Television.