Country singer Luke Combs was reduced to tears this week as he was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry.
The 29-year-old was performing at the venue in Nashville, Tennessee when Chris Janson, Craig Morgan and John Conlee made their way onto the stage to surprise him with the invitation to the institution. Induction into the Grand Ole Opry traditionally means artists have made it as a country music star.
Doubling over in surprise and failing to conceal his tears, Luke said afterwards: "This is the absolute feather in my cap for me as far as career goals. It is the absolute number one thing for me. It cannot be surpassed. It's something I've dreamed about since I made my debut. It's such a storied thing. I was like, "I will do whatever it takes to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry.' I just can't believe it. It doesn't feel real.
"You just never think it's going to happen," he said of the invitation. "When they asked, I literally couldn't believe it. I didn't even know what to say. There's nothing to say but yes, and I didn't even say yes. I just cried the whole time. Let me go on the record and say, "Yes.'"
Luke will be formally inducted into the Opry later this year, alongside fellow inductees Kelsea Ballerini and Mark Wills.
The country star has enjoyed huge success since he released his major label debut album This One's for You in 2017, and he became first artist to have five number ones on the Billboard Country Airplay chart with his first five singles. He was also nominated for Best New Artist at the Grammy Awards earlier this year, but lost out on the gong to Dua Lipa.