Ashley McBryde will become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. The Grammy-nominated country singer and songwriter was surprised by Garth Brooks on Thursday morning with an invitation to join the 97-year-old radio show.
McBryde was in New York, doing an interview with Gayle King and CBS This Morning in support of her new album Lindeville, when Brooks beamed in from Nashville. “On behalf of the Opry and myself as an Opry member, I’m going to try not to cry,” said the famously emotional Brooks. “We would love for you to consider becoming the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.”
“It would be the great joy and the great honor of my life. Thank you, Garth,” McBryde replied through tears of her own. It sounds schmaltzy, but it stands as one of the most genuinely emotional Opry invitations in recent memory.
Adding to it was McBryde’s admission just a few minutes earlier that she nearly died in a fall from a horse in 2021. At the time, the singer kept details quiet and underplayed just how dire the situation was. But on CBS This Morning, she said she required “life-saving measures” after being thrown over the horse while riding in Montana.
McBryde recently returned to Missoula to visit the horse that bucked her and the people who cared for her immediately after the accident. “To look at the people that were there and helped save my life…to look at them and know that they put breath into my lungs for me so I could live,” McBryde said, “and to say, ‘Thank you for saving my life.’”
The Arkansas native’s latest album, Ashley McBryde Presents: Lindeville, is a concept record featuring guests like Brothers Osborne, Aaron Raitiere, and Brandy Clark. It tells the tales and secrets of a fictional town named after songwriter Dennis Linde. Among the highlights: “Bonfire at Tina’s,” about a group of women setting aside their differences to roast their problems.
“We know how to be catty,” McBryde told Rolling Stone. “It just comes as natural as anything else to us. But when one of us gets screwed over, when you piss one of us off, women that don’t get along will get together to hate a motherfucker.”