Scotty McCreery Prepares For Opry Induction, Fifth Album ‘Rise and Fall’: Exclusive

Scotty McCreery won America’s heart 13 years ago covering Josh Turner songs on “American Idol.” Turner joined him on the show. And, McCreery and went on to be the Season 10 champion in May 2011.

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Continuing a theme, McCreery will release his fifth studio album ‘Rise and Fall,’ home to his current hit “Cab In a Solo,” on May 10. He’ll meet Turner on stage again Saturday when the “Long Black Train” singer inducts McCreery into The Grand Ole Opry. Fans can listen to McCreery’s induction 7 p.m. CT Saturday on WSM radio.

McCreery calls the recognition “truly a dream come true.” He said that before Garth Brooks surprised him with an invitation to join the Opry in December, McCreery didn’t know if it would ever happen. But he really wanted it to.

“I just have so much respect for the Opry,” McCreery told American Songwriter. “And obviously, the artists that played there before me who made it what it was.”

The North Carolina native considers himself an old soul and a history buff. He is even more wowed by the Opry’s place in country music and its role in growing the genre into the international phenomenon it is today.

Speaking over a Zoom interview, Scotty McCreery admits that he’s thought an invitation to join the Opry might be coming for a while. He said every time he played, he wondered if that night was the night. Turner even made a surprise appearance one night, and McCreery was convinced the all-important ask might be imminent. But it wasn’t. Then, one night in December, the singer agreed to play the Opry’s Christmas show. He thought it would be an early gig, and he and his wife Gabi would be in bed by 9:30 p.m.

Scotty McCreery’s son took his first steps backstage at The Grand Ole Opry House

The night of Dec. 3 was already special. The couple’s 1-year-old son, Avery, took his first steps backstage. Then McCreery walked out to perform his three songs – and Garth Brooks walked out, too. Brooks was carrying a gift-wrapped package and told McCreery he had to wait to open it because the gift wasn’t inside. He had to wait for his induction date.

“It was a shock, for sure,” McCreery said, explaining that Brooks took the time to fly back to Nashville from Las Vegas where he was performing for his residency at Caesar’s Palace. “Then he flew right back to L.A. to do Jimmy Kimmel,” McCreery continued. “It was like, ‘What? He didn’t have to do that.’ He’s just a great guy.”

With his Opry induction less than two days away and his fifth album due in three weeks, McCreery no longer feels like the teenager who won “American Idol.”

“I feel much more like an old man than I do that kid nowadays,” he said. “I do still have that same excitement for what I do.” McCreery added, “I was bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and I didn’t know what the world had in store for me. At this point in my career, I’ve seen just about everything. I think you can easily get jaded, but for me it’s like, ‘No, I know what to expect.’ And it still excites me.”

(Photo by Danielle Del Valle/Getty Images)

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