Chris Young was surprised during his Grand Ole Opry performance this evening by Country Music Hall of Fame and Opry member Vince Gill with an invitation to become an official Opry member. The invite came just prior to Young’s performance of their chart-topping duet “Sober Saturday Night.” Growing up in nearby Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Young dreamt of one day taking the stage at the Opry, making his debut on June 15, 2006. Another dream came true for the 32-year-old singer with tonight’s Opry invitation. Young’s formal induction will take place Tuesday, October 17, just days before the release of his 7th album, Losing Sleep.
Joining Young on stage, Gill laughed that he’d never been paid for his work on the “Sober Saturday Night” session. “I’ll make you a deal,” Gill said. “I’ll forgive the session fees if you’ll be the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.”
Accepting the invitation to a standing ovation, Young answered Gill, saying, “You’re getting triple scale at this point!” Noting his surprise, he added, “Dang, you got me good! I love you guys. I love everybody here. I love this place.”
“As a friend and someone that’s been out here for 30 years, you will not believe the friendships, the relationships, and the heart that you will gain from being out here for the rest of your life,” Gill added. “It’s going to be really powerful to you, so congratulations.”
“Since making his Opry debut more than a decade ago, Chris Young has won legions of fans around the world and has earned the honest respect of his industry peers,” said Opry General Manager Sally Williams. “Both are evident every time Chris plays the Opry, as our audiences light up and his fellow artists watch from the wings. Chris has an incredible passion and love for the Opry; he lauds its past and is excited about its future. He continues to make significant contributions to country music and to his community, and we could not be more excited to officially welcome Chris to his musical home with his Opry induction in October.”
Earlier in the evening, BMI songwriters Young, Gill, Brad and Brett Warren, were surrounded by music industry friends and supporters inside Studio A at the Grand Ole Opry House to celebrate the chart-topping success of “Sober Saturday Night” from Young’s ACM Album of the Year nominated 5th record, I’m Comin’ Over. Written by Young with The Warren Brothers, “Sober Saturday Night” marks the ninth #1 for Young as an artist. RCA Records Nashville also presented Young with an award for R.I.A.A. Platinum certification of his acclaimed album Neon and plaques for R.I.A.A. certified singles “Think Of You” (Platinum) and “Sober Saturday Night” (Gold), bringing his total tally to 16 Gold and Platinum certifications.