WATCH: Blake Shelton Surprises Dalton Dover With Invitation To Make His Grand Ole Opry Debut

Dalton was brought to tears by the surprise invitation.


Nicole Palsa

| Posted on

August 31, 2022


2:50 pm

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Blake Shelton, Dalton Dover; Photos via Instagram

Dalton Dover was wrapping up his month-long residency at Ole Red on Broadway in Nashville on Tuesday, August 30 when the red phone rang during the middle of his set. That red phone meant one thing – Blake Shelton was calling. Ole Red is set up for Shelton to dial in for video calls, where the artist on stage can interact with him and fans at the venue can watch on the large screen behind the stage.

The Georgia native is no stranger to Shelton, being part of Team Blake during Season 16 of The Voice after he earned a chair turn with his powerful rendition of Keith Whitley’s “Don’t Close Your Eyes.”

Although it initially seemed like Shelton was just calling to check in with Dover, he quickly revealed the true purpose of his call.

“Oh yeah, also, I was wantin’ to know what you’re doing on December the 3rd. Do you have plans?”

Slightly confused, Dover responded, “Mm, no.”

Shelton continued, “Okay, well that’d be cool because we’d like to have you come perform at the Grand Ole Opry.”

The crowd erupted into cheers as Dover stepped away from the microphone and wiped tears from his face, speechless. 

“I mean if you’re busy, it’s okay,” joked Shelton. “If you’ve got other stuff, I know it’s the holidays.” Dover quickly replied, “I’ll be there, I promise.”

Shelton offered his congratulations before wrapping up the call, leaving Dover on stage to process what had just happened. As soon as Shelton disappeared from the screen, Dover exclaimed to the crowd, “Holy shit, y’all! Holy crap. I guess we gotta keep on singing.”

Dover continued his performance with a combination of originals like “Hear About a Girl” and his new single “Damn Good Life” (due out September 23) and covers like Randy Houser’s “Anything Goes” and Journey’s “Faithfully.”

YouTube video

As soon as he stepped off stage, Dover spoke to Country Now about the surreal surprise.

“I was honestly shocked. It was overwhelming. My family’s out in the crowd right now, so I really am just really overwhelmed and I don’t know, my ears are kind of popping from my in-ears. It’s pretty crazy. It’s pretty emotional, honestly.”

Just about a year ago, Dover had his first experience at the Opry as a fan. “I’ve done the Opry tour and I walked out on the stage for a minute, but I really didn’t get to stay out there long. So having the opportunity to go sing out there is gonna be different. It’s gonna be an animal. It’s gonna be a game changer.”

Dover described why the Opry is so special to him. “It’s the church of country music, you know? A year ago, I never pictured myself being here. I’m blessed for sure.” He added, “It’s a special spot. There’s been so many legendary people walk on that stage and for the Opry to have Dalton Dover is just something else.”

He revealed that if he could collaborate with any Opry member, he would want it to be with Luke Combs. “I would sing ‘Amazing Grace’ with him. I would sing ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ with Luke Combs. It can be any song.”

The 23-year-old will officially step into the circle on December 3. Fans can get tickets for Dover’s Opry debut at

Dover is also hitting the road with Priscilla Block this fall on the Welcome to the Block Party Tour, which kicks off Oct. 13 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Tickets are on sale now.

Welcome to the Block Party Tour

Oct. 13            Lori’s Road House                                          Liberty Township, Ohio

Oct. 13            Jergel’s                                                            Warrendale, Penn.

Oct. 15            8 Seconds Saloon                                            Indianapolis, Ind.

Oct. 20            Joe’s on Weed                                                 Chicago, Ill.

Oct. 22            Elevation at the Intersection                           Grand Rapids, MI

Oct. 26            Rick’s Café                                                     Starkville, Miss.

Oct. 27            Cotton Eyed Joes                                            Knoxville, Tenn.

Oct. 28            Silverados                                                       Black Mountain, N.C.

Oct. 29            Rome River Jam                                             Rome, Ga.

Nov. 3             Nashville Palace                                             Nashville, Tenn.

Nov. 11           Bluestone                                                        Columbus, Ohio

Nov. 12           Boondock’s                                                     Springfield, Ill.

Nov. 17           Blue Room                                                      Statesboro, Ga.

Nov. 18           Blind Horse Saloon                                        Greenville, S.C.

Nov. 19           Music Farm                                                     Charleston, S.C.

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Nicole Palsa

Written by

Nicole Palsa

Nicole Palsa is a freelance writer based in Nashville, Tennessee. Since 2012, she has written about the newcomers, superstars, and legends of country music for publications including Music Mayhem, Country Now, and Country Music Tattle Tale. Palsa has served as a volunteer guide with Musicians On Call since 2016 and is a Troubadour member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. She graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Mass Communications and her Bachelor of Arts degree in French. In addition to being a devoted country music fan, Nicole is a family historian and genealogist who can often be found in stacks of research. She is also an avid traveler with a passion for wildlife and nature photography.