Dolly Parton Invites Carly Pearce to Become the Next Member of the Grand Ole Opry

Carly Pearce received the surprise of a lifetime when Dolly Parton invited her to become the next member of the…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

June 22, 2021


8:28 pm

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Carly Pearce received the surprise of a lifetime when Dolly Parton invited her to become the next member of the Grand Ole Opry. 

The news was announced on Tuesday evening (June 22) as Pearce stepped onto the Opry stage for the 85th time in her career. 

The “Next Girl” singer was surprised with the news on June 17 when she visited to Opry to film what she thought was content for Dollywood, where she began performing at the age of 16. She had no idea that Parton was there to ask her to join the Opry. 

“We set this up so I can kind of walk in on you cause I wanted to surprise you,” Parton said as Pearce looked at her in disbelief. 

“First of all, I just wanted to tell you, I wanted to tell you how proud I am of you. Do you know she started singing at Dollywood when she was 16 years old? You do remember don’t you? I know that they told me that you have been on the Grand Ole Opry, eighty times, you’ve performed.” 

“Oh my goodness, I’m just trying to follow in your footsteps,” Pearce gushed. 

“Well, you should be a member of the Grand Ole Opry. What’s wrong with them? Well, I came here to tell you that you are now an official member of the Grand Ole Opry,” Parton said as Pearce wsa overcome with emotions. “It’s official! It’s official!”

“Dolly! Are you guys serious?” Pearce questions.

Pearce has always been vocal about her love for the Grand Ole Opry and her aspirations to be a member one day. 

“To me, the highest honor you can have within our community and within our genre is to be asked to be a member,” she shared in 2019. “That is really hard for me to comprehend and really hard for me to even think is a possibility…I hope that 50 years down the road I’m one of the faces of the Opry. I want to be on one of those buses the way Carrie [Underwood] is or Dolly [Parton] is where it says Grand Ole Opry and you associate them with it. That’s how I want to be and that’s how I want the Opry to be attached to me.”

Watch it all go down in the clip above. 

Carly Pearce will officially be inducted as the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry on August 3, 2021. 

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Lauren Jo Black

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Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.