On This Day: Brad Paisley Becomes Youngest Member Inducted into Grand Ole Opry in 2001

by Kayla Zadel
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Brad Paisley finally gets to call his “favorite place home.” It was 20 years ago today that the country music singer etched his name into history, not only once, but twice.

Paisley was 28-years-old when he was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, making him the young member to join. That night, Paisley wore a canary yellow jacket made by the revered fashion designer to country music stars, Nudie. He performed “Two People Fell In Love” wearing that jacket that his friend, Buck Owens, wore the night he recorded his Live At Carnegie Hall album.

Paisley was presented the first Opry Member Award during the induction. Renowned sculptor Bill Rains designed the award, which is a 14-inch replica of the Opry’s vintage mic stand. It’s made of bronze and oak wood. Additionally, a portion of the trophy’s wooden base recreates the famed circle of wood taken from the stage of the original home of the Opry, the Ryman Auditorium. The wood actually comes from the pews of the Ryman, made available after its restoration in 1994.

Brad Paisley’s Grand Ole Opry Induction

Opry member and long-time friend and mentor Steve Wariner does the induction of Paisley.

“I don’t feel worthy but I hope to earn it. I’ll spend my career making this place proud they did this. It means the world to me that my friend Steve Wariner was part of it,” said Brad Paisley.

Brad Paisley made his Opry debut May 28, 1999 and had played the Opry 43 times since. 

During the ceremony, Paisley says, “I love the Opry. I would call it my favorite place in the city of Nashville. That hallowed place that feels like home that has accepted me from the beginning.”

Orpy member, George Jones, actually wrote a letter to Brad for this occasion that was read aloud by Wariner.

“I am counting on you to carry on the tradition and make folks sit up and listen to what good country music should sound like,” a line from Jones’ letter reads.

Wariner, after reading the letter of congratulations from Jones, congratulated Paisley on his induction. “Brad respects where we [country music] came from, the heritage. We are in good hands with this guy,” Wariner says according to the press release.

Brad said, “You don’t last long here [the Opry] if you’re anything other than humble and down-to-earth.”

Paisley Hosts 95th Opry Celebration

Brad Paisley has shown his dedication to the esteemed institution and as a result, was asked to host the 95th celebration of the Grand Ole Opry this past Sunday (Feb. 14). He teamed up with fellow country singer-songwriter, Blake Shelton.

What’s more, Paisley debuted a new song, “Off Road,” during the celebration.

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