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Blake Shelton became the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry tonight (Oct. 23), inducted by Opry member and friend Trace Adkins before a sold-out Opry House audience.
Blake opened the show with his multiweek No. 1 hit “It’s All About Tonight,” then returned later to sing “She Wouldn’t be Gone,” followed by a duet with Trace on “Hillbilly Bone.”
After the song, Trace officially inducted Blake into the Opry, presenting him with the Opry Member Award and saying, “With great reverence and respect, it means the world to me to be the one to hand this to you and say, ‘Blake Shelton, you’re the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry!’”
Blake admitted to the audience that he’d been trying to find a way to describe his thoughts on joining the Opry since being invited to become a member on Sept. 28, the night the show returned to the renovated Opry House. “Last night I was lying awake in a hotel room and I finally put it into words,” Blake told those in attendance. “I get the same feeling when I come to the Opry as when I see one of my heroes. I am in awe. To me, the Grand Ole Opry is an artist and I’m really proud to be one of its songs.”
Blake, who made his Grand Ole Opry debut on May 5, 2001, concluded the show with his fitting hit “Home.”
"Blake has developed a strong connection to the Opry and its members since he made his Opry debut in 2001, and it has been great to see his career bust wide open over the past year,” Pete Fisher, Opry vice president and general manager, told the audience. “We’re very happy to formally welcome Blake into our family and look forward to great performances and a whole lot of fun ahead.
Backstage Blake told a gathering of friends and associates that his induction into the Opry was the highlight of his life. "Not my career, my life," he emphasized to the small crowd.
Blake's fiancée, Miranda Lambert, was not in attendance, instead playing a previously scheduled show in Nebraska.