For the first time in the 97-year history of the Grand Ole Opry, an artist entered the stage and performed on horseback. Skilled at making her entrance, Tanya Tucker rode on the Opry stage on Friday (June 2) astride a black Friesian stallion named Lauwe the Magnificent as she sang her opening song “Kindness.”
Videos by American Songwriter
The event was the first time in the nearly century-long run of the broadcasts that a horse has been ridden on the Opry stage. To make the historic moment happen, Tucker worked along with the team at the Opry, including executive producer Dan Rogers, and the stallion’s owner Annika Bruggeworth.
In April 2023, Tucker was seen riding the same horse through the streets of Nashville after the announcement of her induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame and her headlining shows at Ryman Auditorium on June 3 and 4.
A longtime lover of horses, Tucker is also featured standing in front of one on the cover of Sweet Western Sound and her 2019 album, While I’m Livin‘, which earned her three Grammys, including Best Country Album, Best Country Song for “Bring My Flowers Now.”
Opening on “Kindness,” off her 26th album, Sweet Western Sound, released in 2023, the remainder of Tucker’s set including a few more tracks off the release, including “When the Rodeo Is Over” and
The List,” along with classics like “Delta Dawn,” “Two Sparrows in a Hurricane” and “Texas (When I Die),” along with “Strong Enough to Bend,” which included special guests Pam Tillis and bluegrass duo Dailey & Vincent.
On April 3, Tucker was named as a 2023 inductee into the Country Music Hall of Fame, along with Patty Loveless and songwriter Bob McDill. The induction ceremony will take place in the fall of 2023.
In 2022, Tucker was also the focus of the documentary, The Return of Tanya Tucker (Featuring Brandi Carlile), and released the new song “Ready As I’ll Never Be,” a sentimental ballad, which she co-wrote with Carlile, that centers around watching the next generation in country music pass on.
“People ask me, ‘How do you think you lasted so long?’” said Tucker in 2022. “I won’t go away, so you’ll just have to put up with me.”
Photos: Chris Hollo / Courtesy Grand Ole Opry