Monday, December 20, 2021
– Christmas came one week early for Lauren Alaina, who was invited to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday.
Alaina dropped to her knees and was crying as Yearwood offered the invite. Alaina also was overcome with so much emotion that she was hyperventilatingf and had trouble getting her words out,
The Opry was the first major stage Alaina played just a week after she was named runner-up on Season 10 of American Idol, making her Opry debut on June 10, 2011. Earlier this fall, she marked her 50th appearance on the Opry.
Opry member and friend Trisha Yearwood surprised Alaina on stage with the invitation. Throughout the evening, the Opry played video greetings from artists sharing their 2021 Christmas wishes.
When Yearwood appeared to share her wish via video on the Opry House screens during a break in Alaina's set, she ended with, "Hey. Is that Lauren Alaina?" Yearwood then made her way on stage. "Junior (her nickname for Alaina), I have a present for you. And I have some surprises for you too. I know your mom is here, and I know your dad is as well. He's super proud of you right now because I have the honor of asking you on behalf of the Grand Ole Opry if you will please accept our invitation of becoming our newest member."
An emotionally overcome Alaina dropped to her knees and finally uttered a winded, "Yes."
Holding Yearwood's hand after many minutes catching her breath, "I did not expect this. You are my hero. I could not have picked a more perfect person to ask me. She calls me Junior - ya'll I'm in her phone as Junior, which is the coolest thing to have happened to me besides this."
"You are the real deal," Yearwood went on to say. "You've played over 50 times. It's obvious what this means to you. This is a very special club to be in so you have to understand what the Opry means to be asked. It's such an honor. Country music is in good hands with you. Soak up every second."
Yearwood duets with Alaina on her Gold-certified song "Getting Good" from her recent album "Sitting Pretty On Top of the World" and also wrote the foreword to her just-released inspirational book "Getting Good At Being You."
Alaina will be formally inducted into the Opry family on an early 2022 date to be announced soon.
"Lauren has been visiting us for 10 years, yet she still brings youthful exuberance and excitement with her every single time she plays the Opry," said Dan Rogers, Opry vice president and executive producer. "We are thrilled that her name will be added to the Opry member roster next year."