Rising star Kolby Cooper checked a major milestone off his bucket list on Saturday evening (Sept. 10) when he made his debut at the Grand Ole Opry.
The Texas native stepped into the circle for the first time ever, performing two tracks from his recently released label debut album, Boy From Anderson County To The Moon.
“Here we are…my Opry debut,” Cooper shared from the stage. “I really didn’t think I’d be here at 23 years old, but I’m very thankful for it.”
As displayed on his 13-track album, Cooper has a knack for writing about real-life situations in an interesting and unique way. He first showcased his songwriting skills with a performance of his new radio single, “Excuses.”
Inspired by a bandmate’s ex-girlfriend, “Excuses” is a relatable track detailing a breakup that ended in an “it ain’t you, it’s me” situation.
Cooper got the packed Opry house laughing as he gave a shoutout to Paul, whose ex inspired the track.
After admitting the opportunity to perform on the Opry stage was “absolutely surreal,” Cooper shared an inspiring story leading into his performance of “Stars Fall Down.”
“I’ve got a lot of people here tonight that care about me and that I really love. My wife and my little girls are here too,” he said. “Speaking of wife and little girls, me and my wife, we were best friends from fourth grade up until we were seniors in high school. Our senior year, we started dating and we got pregnant about four months after we graduated high school.”
Cooper admitted that at the time, pursuing music “didn’t make much sense” as they were expecting a baby and both just 18 years old.
“And then I did it anyways because I feel like you should chase your dreams no matter what. And here we are,” he smiled. “If there’s anything I want my babies to know is that they can chase their dreams and they are encouraged to chase their dreams no matter what. It’s okay to fail but it’s not okay not to try.”
He dedicated the heartfelt song to his daughters and unborn child.
“So when you take aim baby, shoot for the sky / and if you miss it’ll be alright / I’m gonna love you no matter what / ‘cause that’s just what a daddy does / Don’t be scared if you burn bright that you’ll burn out / and baby keep on shining, ‘cause even stars fall down,” he sang as his pregnant wife and young daughters watched on.
Cooper’s performance earned a standing ovation from the Grand Ole Opry audience, who cheered and applauded as he exited the stage.
“If you’d asked me five years ago when I graduated, what I’d be doing in five years, I would’ve told you that I would be a nurse and hopefully still playing music in some capacity. So for me to be making my Opry debut and releasing our major label debut album and all this stuff, it’s just crazy and very surreal,” Cooper told Country Now ahead of his performance.
With his Opry debut under his belt and “Excuses” officially at country radio, the sky’s the limit for Kolby Cooper.