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Brad Paisley, Trace Adkins, Blake Shelton , Martina McBride and many other stars celebrated the return of the Grand Ole Opry to its rightful home, the Grand Ole Opry House, in a special edition of the show in Nashville, Tuesday night (Sept. 28). As has been previously reported, the Opry House suffered extensive damage from the May floods that hit Nashville and had to be restored before shows could be held there again. During the interim months, the Opry played such venues as the Ryman Auditorium and the War Memorial Auditorium while never missing a show.
Before the big event, Brad, Martina, Keith Urban and Opry mainstay Little Jimmy Dickens met with reporters to talk about the newly renovated Opry House. The backstage area has been completely refurbished with new furniture and the stage has been restored with darker wood, giving it a more luminous appeal. “What they've done is nothing short of miraculous,” said Brad. “I can say that I am amazed,” added Martina. “I am proud to be part of this historic night.”
The guest lineup could truly be termed “historic,” as it arguably featured the most impressive single-night lineup in the nearly 85-year history of the Grand Ole Opry. The show opened with the stage going dark, followed by a single spotlight shining on Brad and Little Jimmy, who kicked off the opening notes of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” At that point, stars such as Charlie Daniels, Connie Smith and Marty Stuart joined others in filling the stage, picking up the thread of the song. The crowd rose in approval, sharing the emotional moment with the artists.
The night continued with one superstar performance after another. Blake Shelton  took the stage with his latest hit, “All About Tonight,” followed by Jason Aldean, playing an appropriate number, “My Kind of Party.” The crowd roared approval for a couple of duets, Josh Turner and Lorrie Morgan on “Golden Ring” and Martina and Connie Smith on Connie's breakthrough hit, “Once a Day.” Toward the end of the show, the Charlie Daniels Band and Montgomery Gentry ripped through a rousing version of Charlie’s classic “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” drawing the loudest ovation of the night. The show concluded with a guitar jam featuring Keith, Brad, Steve Wariner, Marty and Ricky Skaggs on Merle Haggard's “Workin’ Man Blues.”
The final two hours of the show were televised by GAC. During the opening non-televised hour, fans were treated to a variety of performances by legends like Bill Anderson, Jeannie Seely, Mel Tillis and John Conlee. Diamond Rio also took the stage for their hit, “One More Day.”
For more on this historic night, check out the video below and the Nov. 1 issue of Country Weekly, on sale Oct. 25.