Capitol Records Multi-Platinum singer/songwriter/producer Jon Pardi was surprised last night during his performance in Indo, CA at country music’s festival Stagecoach, when his friend and Emmy-winning famed restaurateur, author Guy Fieri directed him and the attention of his thousands of cheering fans to a video where Opry member and Country Music Hall of Famer Alan Jackson appeared officially inviting the California native to become the newest member of the Opry.
“That mic stand represents the future of country music as well as its incredible history,” Dan Rogers, Opry executive producer, told the crowd after he sat the Opry mic stand down in front of a surprised Pardi. “This night will go down in history, too, both because Jon is the first artist invited to join the Opry on this stage and because he’s the first native Californian to get that call. What a great night!”
“I moved to Nashville chasing a dream at 22 years old and now I’m here. I love you guys and I love country music. Thank you, everybody. This is an amazing night. I’ll never forget it,” said an emotional Pardi from stage before later in the night noting “I always wondered how this might happen if it was going to. I never imagined anything this great. That was incredible.”
“There is no better representation of Northern California than you, man,” said Fieri backstage after the moment.
Rogers added backstage, “For nearly a decade now, Jon Pardi has been adding something great to the show every single time he plays the Opry. For me personally, I’ll never forget the big sounds he brought to the Opry stage during the pandemic and the way he connected with audiences around the world via our livestream even when he was playing to an empty Opry House. I have no doubt there are good times ahead for all of us with Jon as a future Opry member.”
Coming just a week after receiving his third consecutive ACM Album of the Year nomination (for being both artist and producer for Mr. Saturday Night), the invitation to become an Opry member was made even more special because it happened in his native home state of California in front of his home state fans. Pardi will become the first native Californian to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. An official induction date will be announced soon.