Jon Pardi experienced an unforgettable moment in his home state of California on Friday evening (April 28) when he was surprised with an invitation to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry by country music icon and Grand Ole Opry member Alan Jackson.
Pardi was in the midst of his performance at Stagecoach in Indio, California when Emmy-winning famed restaurateur and author Guy Fieri joined him on stage to introduce a special video from Jackson.
A Night He Won’t Soon Forget
“He has a message for you, take a look,” Fieri told Pardi, prompting him to look at the large screen behind him.
The “Chattahoochee” singer, who has been an Opry member since 1991, then delivered the surprise of a lifetime.
“Hello Jon and everybody at Stagecoach,” Jackson said in the clip. [The] Grand Ole Opry has always meant a lot to me and everybody in country music and I’ve been appreciating your music ever since you were touring with me a few years ago and so I get the honor to invite you in front of all your Stagecoach friends out there to be the first native of California to become an official member of the Grand Ole Opry. So congratulations, Jon, here’s to you…”
Jackson took a swig of his Silverbelly Whiskey as thousands of Stagecoach attendees erupted with applause.
Jon Pardi appeared to be overcome with emotions as he stood on stage processing the news.
Opry executives joined him on stage with an official Grand Ole Opry mic stand to celebrate the occasion.
“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!”
An emotional Pardi then addressed the crowd.
“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,” he said, adding, “I always wondered how this might happen if it was going to. I never imagined anything this great. That was incredible.”
Representing California At The Opry
“There is no better representation of Northern California than you, man,” Fieri said backstage following the celebratory 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.”
Jon Pardi will become the first native of California to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. His Opry induction date has yet to be announced.
Pardi hit the country music scene in 2012 with the release of his debut single, “Missin’ You Crazy.” Since then, he was gone on to carve out a path of his own within the genre. He’s always stood out with his unique blend of traditional, yet modern, sound that incorporates fiddle and steel guitar.
Most recently, Pardi earned his third consecutive ACM Album of the Year nomination as both an artist and producer for his latest release, Mr. Saturday Night.
Pardi, who welcomed his first child with his wife, Summer, earlier this year, will soon embark on his 2023 Mr. Saturday Night World Tour. The trek will feature support from Midland, Jackson Dean, Randall King, Ella Langley, and DJ Highmax on select dates.