It has been over 15 years since Little Big Town first appeared at the Grand Ole Opry, making their first ever performance as a group on that iconic stage May 21, 1999. Last night, during the Friday Opry show, the foursome received the ultimate invitation on that very same stage.
They also received it via a very unexpected, but welcomed, guest. Because, when it comes to stage crashers, there are few as welcome as Reba McEntire, especially when she randomly interrupts a set at the Grand Ole Opry, proclaiming “I always wanted to sing ‘Motorboating’.”
After joining Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Phillip Sweet and Jimi Westbrook for a few bars of their huge breakout hit “Pontoon,” Reba extended the foursome an invitation to become the newest members of the Grand Ole Opry. The audience roared and the foursome accepted through tears of jubilation and shock.
“I was thinking, ‘It’s Reba, that’s means something big,’ ” said Schlapman to the Tennessean immediately following the momentous invitation. “As happy as I was, I was sad that none of my family was here. I’m sad, but I’m happy. But they were all here (just hiding). My husband lied today, all day long.”
“We really, really respect everything that’s happened here and we value it so much and we want so badly to be a part of that tradition and carry it on,” Fairchild said, also speaking to the Tennessean. “We talk about it a lot and we have for years, what this place means and how it’s the best place to sing a song, ever.”
Little Big Town will be officially inducted into the Grand Ole Opry by Vince Gill on October 17, just four days before the release of their much anticipated sixth studio album, Pain Killer.
Watch Reba invite Little Big Town to join the Grand Ole Opry!
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*Photos via The Grand Ole Opry