Michael Ray Sets His Sights On Becoming A Member of the Grand Ole Opry: ‘The Most Important Place In Music’
To date, Michael Ray has played the Opry 65 times.
Michael Ray; Photo Courtesy Grand Ole Opry
Michael Ray hit a major milestone when his single “Whiskey And Rain” recently hit the No. 1 spot on country radio, but he still has his heart set on another goal. That is becoming a member of the Grand Ole Opry.
For many artists, getting inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry is one of the highest honors in the business, but it’s not easy. It takes time and dedication, which Ray has been more than willing to do. So far, he is keeping his “fingers crossed” that this next step is in his future.
“I think it’s the most important place in music, to be honest with you,” Ray revealed during an interview with Country Now and other outlets. “And I think that it’s important that we – I know things grow and things have to evolve with time – but there’s things about the Opry that those people who founded it put a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and put a foundation there for a reason.”
Ray’s love for the Opry began when he was just a young boy. He reminisced about the times he would attend shows and take in all its glory while watching his grandpa Amos Roach lead the family band on stage.
“I remember going – me and my grandpa, I watched it, I studied it, you know, my whole life,” he recalled.
In 2015, the “Holy Water” singer-songwriter finally got his chance to step into that historic circle as a solo artist. Unfortunately, his debut Opry performance came with a heavy heart as it took place not long after losing his grandfather.
Ray got the chance to honor his grandfather once again this year. He decided to give the same special moment his grandpa gave him, to a young fan named Jillian who was in the crowd. During his performance of the hit single, “Whiskey And Rain, Ray brought Jillian up on stage to help him sing the song.
He later shared a video of the heartwarming moment to social media.
“I’ve has so many incredible moments on the Opry, but this one will go down as one of the most memorable!!! Let’s just say #WhiskeyAndRain has never sounded better am I right??? Hope to see you there again soon Jillian!!!” Ray wrote in the caption.
Since his debut performance, Michael Ray has taken the stage of the Opry a total of 65 times and earned four chart-topping singles, but according to him, nothing quite compares to the honor of playing one of country music’s most historic venues.
“To me, it’s the most important award. Awards matter, they’re definitely good and it feels good to be voted on by peers and all that stuff, but to me, that’s the main one.”
Madeleine O’Connell graduated from North Central College with a bachelors degree in Journalism and Broadcast Communications before deciding to pursue her studies further at DePaul University. There, she earned her masters degree in Digital Communication & Media Arts. O’Connell served as a freelance writer for over two years while also interning with the Academy of Country Music, SiriusXM and Circle Media and assisting with Amazon Music’s Country Heat Weekly podcast. In addition to Country Now, she has been published in American Songwriter, Music Mayhem, and Holler.Country. Madeleine O’Connell is a member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.