Kelsea Ballerini, the Tennessee native who deftly blends country songwriting with pop savvy on Number One singles like “Dibs,” “Peter Pan” and “Legends,” will become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.
The 25-year-old was invited to join the 94-year-old country music institution on Tuesday night by Little Big Town, who surprised Ballerini by serenading her with the offer during the end of their performance of “Girl Crush.” Little Big Town’s Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet harmonized the offer: “Do you want to join the Opry?” Ballerini answered emotionally in the affirmative.
— Grand Ole Opry (@opry) March 6, 2019
“To be on this stage is the greatest gift in the world,” the singer told the crowd. “This is the home of country music, and I get to be a part of it.”
Ballerini is the latest in a string of new Opry invitations. Chris Janson was inducted in March 2018, Dustin Lynch in August and, just prior to Ballerini, Mark Wills in December. Ballerini’s official induction ceremony is set for Tuesday, April 16th. She’ll kick off her headlining Miss Me More Tour with Brett Young on April 11th in Maryland and was also just announced as one of CMA Fest’s featured performers at the nightly Nissan Stadium concerts.