View the original article at: http://www.countryweekly.com/news/and-newest-member-grand-ole-opry
It’s one thing to play the Grand Ole Opry—it’s another to be asked to become a member. But Darius Rucker can now lay claim to both of those honors. Near the end of his regular Opry performance on Tuesday night (Oct. 2), Brad Paisley popped up in the audience to ask a question of his close friend: “Would you like to be the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry?”
Darius was floored, and swears he didn’t have a clue about what was about to happen, despite a particularly large crowd of onlookers stage right. “That’s one of the things that is blowing me away. When I was done [performing], I walked backstage and saw so many of my friends that were here. I was like, how did I not know?” he told Country Weekly minutes after Brad popped the question. “There are three guys here that I was supposed to play golf with in the morning. I was texting them today saying, ‘I’m going to be a little late,’ and then I walk in and they’re here. I don’t know how, but they kept it a secret. It was awesome.”
Equally awesome to Darius, who is preparing to release his third country album early next year, was having his pal Brad do the honors. “There is nobody in the business I’d want more to do that than Brad,” Darius said. “When I started in country music, he was a big supporter, even before my record was out. I love him.”
For Darius, it all added up to a milestone evening. “This is one of those things that I didn’t even really dream about. I dreamed about maybe playing the Opry some day, but not really being a member,” he said. “But my name is right there alongside all of those great country singers as a member of the Opry. It’s pretty amazing.”
Darius will be officially inducted Oct. 16.