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It’s been almost 20 years since Deana Carter burst onto the music scene with her breakthrough hit, “Strawberry Wine,” and before she stepped away from the spotlight to raise her son, Gray, born in 2004, Deana had stayed pretty active in the music business, earning three No. 1 hits, another Top 5 and a couple of Top 20s before she took a mommy break.
Even during the break, she was busy writing songs and touring—opening for Kenny Chesney, who was so impressed with her tune “You and Tequila” that he recorded it himself.  The song went on to receive Grammy and CMA nominations for Best Song.
But it wasn’t until just this month that Deana made her Opry debut ! How does that happen in a world where a spot in the sacred circle is so coveted? “Honestly, I think it was just busyness,” she tells Country Weekly. “A lot of it, admittedly, was because I grew up in Nashville. The Opry was in our backyard growing up, so it’s not something you set your focus on doing because it’s here. People that grow up everywhere else come here to do that. It was always talked about and it was like, ‘Of course we’ll do that. Of course we’ll do that. Of course, at some point, we’ll do that.’”
Now, 17 years later, Deana has done that and it couldn’t have come at a better time as she prepares to launch her first album in six years, A Southern Way of Life, this November.