After treating fans, media and Nashville industry players to a live performance of their upcoming sixth album, Pain Killer, Thursday night, Little Big Town received their own special honor on Friday when the vocal group was asked to become the latest members of the Grand Ole Opry.
As the Friday night Opry headliners, the quartet of Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook wrapped up the evening with an extra member as Reba McEntire popped up to add a random “motorboat” or two to their first Number One, “Pontoon.” But the Country Music Hall of Famer and Grand Ole Opry member since 1986 wasn’t just there to sing — she had an offer for Little Big Town. “I have been asked to ask y’all, Little Big Town, would y’all like to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry?” McEntire said in her typical down-home diction.
Naturally, the members said yes. Little Big Town will be officially inducted by Vince Gill during a ceremony at the Opry’s October 17th performance.
“Being asked to become members of the Grand Ole Opry is something we’ve dreamed of since the first time we stood in that circle 15 years ago,” Schlapman tells Rolling Stone Country. “And to have Reba there in that moment just took it over the top! Everybody but us was in on the surprise. We’re all still on cloud nine and feel so honored.”
The last act inducted into the esteemed country institution and radio show was also a group: Old Crow Medicine Show, who received their invitation from Marty Stuart in 2013 during a performance in Cleveland.