Vince Gill Missed His Opry Debut for All the Right Reasons

by Clayton Edwards

Recently, a laundry list of country music’s brightest stars took part in CMT Giants: Vince Gill. The 90-minute special honored the Oklahoma native’s contributions to the genre. Over the course of the night, Chris Stapleton, Carrie Underwood, Luke Combs, and several others paid tribute to Gill. However, the most touching moment of the night came when Gill’s daughter Jenny took the stage.

Joining the Grand Ole Opry is a dream for just about every artist in country music. The first step in gaining acceptance into the fold is making an Opry debut. These debut shows allow artists to get a feel for the Opry while also getting to play for a massive audience. In short, many artists would do just about anything to get their Opry debut slot. Vince Gill, on the other hand, missed his Opry debut. Jenny Gill told the CMT Giants crowd and those watching at home why.

Why Vince Gill Missed His Opry Debut

“When I was in first grade,” Jenny Gill recalled, “I really wanted to play in my school talent show. So, I asked my dad – who I knew could play guitar really well – if he would play for me so I could sing.” Of course, Vince Gill agreed. As Jenny told the story, you could see the emotion on Vince’s face.

They picked a song and started practicing it. For a week, Vince and Jenny Gill put aside time to work on their talent show performance. However, sometime during the week, Vince got a phone call. Jenny revealed that it was the invitation to make his Opry debut.

“He asks them, ‘This Saturday night?!’ and you know what he told them? ‘I’m sorry, I can’t make it,” Jenny said. “So, instead of making his Grand Ole Opry debut that night, he showed up at my elementary school to play for his 6-year-old daughter. We played ‘You Are My Sunshine’.”

The Best Part of the Story…

Later in the night, Vince Gill took the stage to share a little more about his daughter and the song they chose. “Here’s the best part of that story with Jenny and the Opry,” Gill said. “Fast-forward a million years later and she marries Josh. We’re all figuring out what song should we do for the father-daughter dance.”

Vince Gill went on to say that they couldn’t come up with anything that they liked. Then, one day, it just clicked. “She called me and said, ‘I’ve got the perfect song,’ and I said ‘I do too.’ We both said, ‘You Are My Sunshine.’”

It turns out that Vince Gill is a legendary musician and the kind of dad that all men should aspire to be.