Luke Combs Becomes The Grand Ole Opry’s Newest Member
“I will never forget tonight!”
Vince Gill, Luke Combs, Joe Diffie; Photo by Chris Hollo
Luke Combs is officially the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.
The country music superstar earned his forever place inside the iconic circle on Tuesday (July 16) following performances of his chart-topping hits “When It Rains It Pours” and “Beer Never Broke My Heart.”
Grand Ole Opry members Vince Gill and Joe Diffie were on hand to welcomes Combs to the Opry family with his official induction. Fellow Opry members The Gatlin Brothers, Chris Janson, Dustin Lynch, Craig Morgan and Mark Wills also joined Combs on stage for the special moment.
To have Diffee and Gill be a part of the evening was a full-circle moment for Combs. Not only did he grow up listening to Diffee’s music, but Gill was the first concert he ever attended at the tender age of six years old.
“Here I am on stage with people I grew up listening to and people who have shaped me as an artist,” Combs said before closing out his ceremony with a performance of “This One’s For You.” “I just want to say thank you to you guys, thank you to the Grand Ole Opry, and thank you to the fans — without you all there is no country music, there is no Grand Ole Opry. Thank you so much for everything you guys do for making this possible for guys like us on this stage. I will never forget tonight!”
Last month, during his 16th show at the Opry, Combs had, perhaps, one of the most emotional invites in the institution’s history when Morgan, Janson and John Conlee surprised him with the offer to be the next inductee. This time though, the fast-rising star kept his composure. However, the milestone, to him, still tops all major achievements in country music.
“As far as career achievements go, I mean, to me, this is the number one thing,” Combs, who has, undoubtedly, had a banner year so far, told Country Now and other reporters backstage before the induction. “The sold-out arenas are great, and the sold-out amphitheaters are great, and those are things that you strive for to continue to be able to tour, and continue to have a platform to put your music out there. But, this is just an institution. To me, it’s beyond country music. It is country music. So, being asked was the most amazing, overwhelming, flattering, humbling experience that I ever had. So definitely, it will always and forever be the number one career achievement for me over winning this, or winning that, or going to this, or selling out that. This is the thing that nobody can ever take away from me, which is the thing that I’m so proud of.”
Melinda Lorge is a Nashville-based freelance writer who specializes in covering country music. Along with Country Now, her work has appeared in publications, including Rare Country, Rolling Stone Country, Nashville Lifestyles Magazine, Wide Open Country and more. After joining Rare Country in early 2016, Lorge was presented with the opportunity to lead coverage on late-night television programs, including “The Voice” and “American Idol,” which helped her to sharpen her writing skills even more. Lorge earned her degree at Middle Tennessee State University, following the completion of five internships within the country music industry. She has an undeniable love for music and entertainment. When she isn’t living and breathing country music, she can be found enjoying time outdoors with family and friends.