Rascal Flatts is officially the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. With the help of Little Jimmy Dickens, the trio was inducted into the Opry family on October 8, the same night the Opry celebrated its 86th birthday. Vince Gill surprised the band with an invitation to join the Opry during their performance on September 27.
“The Opry has had such a special place in my heart for such a long time,” Gary LeVox said. “I mean even before we were artists and musicians we were children growing up, you know, our grandparents, our mothers and fathers were big fans of the Opry. We had no idea if this was ever going to happen. But when Vince came out a couple weeks ago when we were onstage it was really shocking, it was mind blowing, so humbling and we’re so honored and proud to be a part of this legacy. There is no bigger pinnacle than the Grand Ole Opry. It is country music.”
“We are humbled by this,” Joe Don Rooney said. “We are absolutely blown away by this and we can’t wait to see what the future has in store with us through the Opry. Tonight is a great platform from which to set sail.”
“It’s one of those things where you go, ‘’What do we do now?’ because this is one of the greatest achievements,” Jay DeMarcus said. “I know all three of us feel this way. That we’ve been able to accomplish in our career. And it’s something we’re most proud of. And one of the titles we’re most proud to carry is member of the Grand Ole Opry.”
The band took the stage to perform their most recent No. 1s, “Why Wait” and “I Won’t Let Go,” as the second hour of the night’s program got underway. They returned to the stage later for “Life Is A Highway,” their last song as a guest of the Grand Ole Opry. They were surprised by a special video message from President George W. Bush congratulating them and also thanking them for their humanitarian efforts before Little Jimmy Dickens and Opry General Manager Pete Fisher welcomed them into the Opry as members.
After being presented with their Opry member awards, Joe Don stepped into Opry’s famed wooden circle, followed quickly by his fellow bandmates. “Blessed, honored, humbled, grateful — those are words that come to mind when I stand right here on this famous circle in the Grand Ole Opry House, and we are going to do this honor due diligence,” Joe Don said. “We’re going to work our tails off, to wave this Grand Ole Opry banner for years to come.”
“You have witnessed the greatest night of our lives,” Gary told the audience before thanking his wife and daughters. He called the honor “a dream come true from childhood.”
Jay dedicated the night to his Mamaw and Pawpaw who brought him to the Opry as a child. “They have the best seat in the house,” he said.
Rascal Flatts’ induction was broadcast live on GAC as part of Opry Live. The episode will re-air throughout the week and in addition to Rascal Flatts, also includes Ronnie Dunn’s solo Opry debut and performances from Craig Morgan, Charley Pride and more. Check the schedule for air times >>