HomeEntertainmentMusicOn This Day: Kelsea Ballerini Invited to Become Grand Ole Opry Member by Little Big Town in 2019

On This Day: Kelsea Ballerini Invited to Become Grand Ole Opry Member by Little Big Town in 2019

by Jim Casey
(Photo by John Shearer via Getty Images)

Kelsea Ballerini got the surprise of a lifetime when she was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry on March 5, 2019.

After Kelsea performed her set on the iconic circle, Little Big Town took the stage to close out the show. Of course, LBT members Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet, and Jimi Westbrook had a little something up their collective sleeves for the big night.

Before Little Big Town broke into a rendition of their Grammy Award-winning single, “Girl Crush,” Kimberly invited Kelsea back to the stage to help the quartet sing the tune.

“One of our friends, we thought, ‘Hey, since we’re here on the same night, and since we kinda have a girl crush on you, Kelsea, come out here and sing “Girl Crush” with us,'” said Kimberly. “How about that?”

Kelsea joined her friends on stage to add her sweet-sounding vocals. But as the song was concluding, Karen and Kimberly called an audible. Instead of singing the final verse, “I got a heart rush / It ain’t slowin’ down,” Kimberly and Karen harmonized, “Kelsea Ballerini, do you wanna join the Opry?”

Kelsea Ballerini Surprised With Opry Invitation

When Kelsea realized what was happening, she turned around in total shock.

“We got her, we got her!” exclaimed Karen. “Do you want to join the Opry? Really, it’s true, do you want to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry?”

“Yes, I’m gonna pass out I think,” replied Kelsea. After collecting her thoughts, Kelsea added, “To be on this stage is the greatest gift in the world. This is the home of country music, and I get to be a part of it.”

Watch Kelsea’s epic Opry surprise below.

Ballerini Inducted Into the Grand Ole Opry

On April 16, 2019, Carrie Underwood formally inducted Kelsea into the Grand Ole Opry.

“Grand Ole Opry, thanks for seeing something in me and for believing that I’ll always love you like I do because I do, and I will,” said Kelsea on her induction night.

In addition, the 27-year-old is still the Opry’s youngest member.

Recent inductions into the Opry include Rhonda Vincent (February 2021), Gene Watson (February 2020), and Luke Combs (July 2019).