WATCH: ERNEST Makes Opry Debut with Surprise Appearance From Morgan Wallen

Multi-Platinum singer/songwriter ERNEST made his Grand Ole Opry debut on Saturday, January 8. Joined by the Opry house band, the…


Lauren Jo Black

| Posted on

January 8, 2022


9:07 pm

Share on:

Morgan Wallen, ERNEST; Photo Courtesy Grand Ole Opry

Multi-Platinum singer/songwriter ERNEST made his Grand Ole Opry debut on Saturday, January 8.

Joined by the Opry house band, the fast rising country singer and Country Now Artist to Watch kicked off the monumental evening with his song, “American Rust.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Country Now (@countrynow)

“Thank y’all,” ERNEST said before welcoming his longtime friend and collaborator, Morgan Wallen, to the stage.

“Well, y’all care if we play you a song? I put this song out last week, we did it together. It’s called ‘Flower Shops,’ it’s my first single at country radio,” ERNEST added.

The Nashville native was then joined by Wallen, who made his Opry debut in July of 2017, to perform “Flower Shops.” The song is ERNEST’s debut single at country radio and was written by ERNEST alongside Ben Burgess and Mark Holman.

Watch the performance below.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Country Now (@countrynow)

Rising country star Tyler Braden also made his Opry debut earlier in the show. 

Henry Cho, Jeannie Seely, Riders In The Sky, Matthew West, Connie Smith, The Frontman of Country and Opry Square Dancers also appeared during the Saturday’s Opry broadcast.

Produced by Joey Moi, “Flower Shops” was released on New Year’s Eve (Dec. 31).

“’Flower Shops’ is a song that isn’t over-written or over-complicated,“ ERNEST shared in a press release. “It’s a sad song with a wink; an honest song about messing up a good thing and running out of sorrys. I wrote it with Ben Burgess and Mark Holman after being on a George Jones/sad Country song kick.”

ERNEST continued, “I didn’t have a hard time going there because I know damn well what it’s like to run out of apologies, and though flowers aren’t ever going to fix it, it’s just about all you can do sometimes. It’s one of my favorite songs, if not my favorite song, I’ve written to date. The response on social media and from fans has been incredible, especially for being an unreleased song up until now. I’m excited for it to be out in the world and even more excited to have one of my best friends, Morgan, hop on it and sing it with me. I am a big believer in Country music remaining honest, regardless of sonics. And this is as honest as it can get.”

YouTube video

His Opry debut comes days after another milestone moment in his career, when he heard himself on the radio for the first time ever.

While he is no stranger to hearing songs that he wrote on country radio, as he’s written a handful of hits, including Wallen’s “More Than My Hometown,” Florida Georgia Line’s “I Love My Country,” Sam Hunt’s “Breaking Up Was Easy in the ‘90s,” Chris Lane’s “Big, Big Plans” and more, he experienced a new kind of excitement when he heard himself on Nashville’s 103.3 WKDF.

He documented the unforgettable moment on Instagram with a video, which he captioned, “crazy.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ERNEST (@ernest)

​​The clip finds the singer/songwriter all smiles as he listens and sings along with the track. During the clip, he says, “Hello Radio” before joyously shouting, “Let’s GO!”

“Flower Shops” is set to impact Country radio on January 24.

Share on:

Lauren Jo Black

Written by

Lauren Jo Black

Lauren Jo Black, a University of Central Florida graduate, has immersed herself in the world of country music for over 15 years. In 2008, she co-founded CountryMusicIsLove, eventually selling it to a major record label in 2015. Following the rebranding of the website to Sounds Like Nashville, Black served as Editor-in-Chief for two and a half years. Currently, she assumes the role of Editor-in-Chief at Country Now and oversees Country Now’s content and digital footprint. Her extensive experience also encompasses her previous role as a Country Music Expert Writer for and her work being featured on She’s been spotlighted among Country Aircheck’s Women of Influence and received the 2012 Rising Star Award from the University of Central Florida. Black also spent time in front of the camera as host of Country Now Live, which brought live music directly to fans in 2021 when the majority of concerts were halted due to the pandemic. During this time, she hosted 24 weeks of live concerts via Country Now Live on Twitch with special guests such as Lady A, Dierks Bentley, Jordan Davis, Brett Young, and Jon Pardi. Over the course of her career, she has had the privilege of conducting interviews with some of the industry’s most prominent stars, including Reba McEntire, Blake Shelton, Luke Combs, Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Miranda Lambert, Lainey Wilson, and many others. Lauren Jo Black is a longtime member of the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music.