In August, William Shatner released the country album Why Not Me. A collaborative effort with Jeff Cook from Country Music Hall of Fame band Alabama, the record plays up Shatner’s irreverent approach to music that began with 1968’s cult classic The Transformed Man. Among the titles on Why Not Me: “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Alone,” “Too Old to Be Vegan” and “Beam Me Up.”
On February 15th, the 87-year-old Star Trek icon will beam down to Nashville to make his Grand Ole Opry debut. Shatner is slated to be joined by Cook. Other artists on the Friday night Opry are yet to be announced.
Shatner isn’t the first actor to grace the Opry’s stage. Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton and Rita Wilson have all appeared over the past few years, with Bill Murray most recently joining John Prine and bluegrass band the Steeldrivers for an impromptu performance.
Shatner’s musical projects have long been on the fringe. In 2004, he teamed up with Ben Folds to record the LP Has Been. Seven years later, he released an album of space-song covers titled Seeking Major Tom. His Christmas album, 2018’s Shatner Claus, features collaborations with Iggy Pop, Billy Gibbons and Brad Paisley, with whom Shatner appeared in Paisley’s 2003 video for “Celebrity.”