Chris Janson, who has performed more than 100 times on the Grand Ole Opry since making his debut on the 93-year-old radio show in 2013, will become the newest member of the country-music institution.
Janson was surprised with an offer to join the Opry from Keith Urban, who was a special guest at Janson's Monday-night headlining concert at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium – the onetime home of the Grand Ole Opry. Urban and Janson performed John Michael Montgomery's 1995 hit "Sold (The Grundy County Auction Incident)," a song they first collaborated on during a joint Opry appearance in October, before Urban – himself an Opry member since 2012 – extended the offer.
"I know the feeling of the night I got invited, it's an incredible feeling. And I think it's about time you feel that way too, Chris," Urban said. The energetic Janson, one of country music's most engaging live performers, leapt up and down before brushing away some tears and embracing his wife Kelly, who joined him onstage with Grand Ole Opry general manager Sally Williams. Janson's only words: "holy shit."
The Missouri native has become a fan favorite at the Opry for his enthusiastic, emotional performances, eliciting standing ovations for songs like the autobiographical ballad "Holdin' Her," the workingman's dream "Buy Me a Boat" and his new single that takes an unexpected look at consent, "Drunk Girl."
Janson's induction ceremony is set for the spring. The last country artist to be inducted into the Opry was Chris Young last October.