Music

Grand Ole Opry welcomes youngest member Kelsea Ballerini

by WENN April 23rd, 2019, 10:00 am

WENN

Kelsea Ballerini became the youngest current member of the Grand Ole Opry in Tennessee.

The singer teared up as Carrie Underwood officially inducted her to country music's exclusive club.

"It's so comforting to know that no matter where life takes me, and if radio stops playing me tomorrow, that I can always come here and I can always play country music," she told the audience as fellow Opry members Keith Urban and Vince Gill watched from the side of the stage. "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."

During her acceptance speech, Kelsea also paid tribute to Carrie, telling her she's a huge fan and adding, "If I can be half the artist that you are, I feel like I'm doing something right."

The two women then teamed up for a rendition of fellow Opry member Trisha Yearwood's Walkaway Joe.

Ballerini became the first woman inducted into the Grand Ole Opry in two years – Crystal Gayle was added in 2017.

She added, "I know I'm a new artist and just the fact that you have taken me under your wings so early on, it means the world to me and honestly makes me want to be a better artist and write better songs and be the best artist I can be to represent not only myself and the amazing people in this room that are my team and my family, but also the Grand Ole Opry."

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