“Destined for mass appeal” (Rolling Stone Country), singer/songwriter Brett Young made his Grand Ole Opry debut on Saturday night (6/25) in Nashville. He stunned the audience with his soulful voice and authentic lyrics that perfectly encapsulate his “Caliville” persona. With his dominating stage presence, Young performed his current Top 30 single “Sleep Without You” and the emotional “You Ain’t Here to Kiss Me.”
“I grew up listening to the legends who have performed on this stage before me,” said a humbled Young. “Never in a million years did I imagine that a Country boy from California would have this opportunity and I am beyond grateful.”
Young has been winning over fans and critics alike with Sounds Like Nashville exclaiming, “If you haven’t had a chance to listen to his self-titled EP, WHAT’S TAKING YOU SO LONG?”
He will continue introducing his music to fans across the country with stops at many major festivals over the summer including Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI on June 29, Faster Horses in Brooklyn, MI on July 15 and Watershed in Gorge, WA on July 30 and August 5. For more information and tour dates, visit BrettYoungMusic.com.
Five years ago this month, Drew Baldridge made the bold move from his small hometown of Patoka, Ill., to Nashville, TN. He did so after an 18th birthday surprise trip to Nashville to see Josh Turner play at the Wildhorse Saloon. Since that evening, Baldrige credit’s Turner for inspiring him to pursue his dream of music. Last night (6/15,) Baldridge stood on the circle for his Grand Ole Opry debut and during his third and last song, the country newcomer got the surprise of his life.
The evening was hosted by Opry announcer/host Bill Cody. Baldridge took to the stage following Opry member John Conlee, and performed the title track to his album debut that was just released Friday, June 10, called “Dirt On Us,” a song he wrote about his hometown and his best friends. For the second song of the night, Baldridge performed “Tractors Don”t Roll,” also found on his debut album, and for the third and final song of his Opry debut, he performed “Your Man,” a homage to his idol Josh Turner.
Baldridge took a little time to explain his third song choice to the Opry audience stating,
“The very first time I came to Nashville, my mom bought me tickets for my 18th birthday to see Josh Turner in concert at the Wildhorse saloon. I’ll never forget the first time I came here, I went downtown and bought a cowboy hat just so I can have Josh Turner sign it and I don’t even wear cowboy hats! But I went down there and got a hat, Josh Turner signed it and I watched his show in the front row. That was the night I decided I was going to move to Nashville and I was gonna do this and try to pursue my dream. It was because of Josh Turner. And I know Josh is a Opry member, and what better way than to sing one of Josh Turner’s songs.”
During the musical break of “Your Man,” Josh Turner came out on stage to sing the bridge and surprise Baldridge. It was a memorable moment on the hallowed stage and Baldridge, along with the Opry audience, were all taken back. Surprised and humbled, Baldridge was so overwhelmed by Turner he had difficulty singing alongside his idol. After the end of the song, both singers received a standing ovation form the Opry audience.
Backstage, with family, friends and his record label in support, Baldridge spent some time with Turner and was able to thank him for the first time before heading to the Opry shop to sign copies of his new album, Dirt On Us, to a long line of fans eager to congratulate him.
Baldridge headed out of Nashville last night to Marinette, WI for a performance at the Porterfield Country Fest and then on Friday (6/17) will be joining Kenny Chesney and other country stars for Country Fest in Cadott, WI.
Hosted by Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Matthew West, winners were announced at last night’s 2016 K-LOVE Fan Awards live from the Grand Ole Opry stage. Among those honored include Lauren Daigle who received both Artist of the Year and Female Artist of the Year, Chris Tomlin for Song of the Year with “Good Good Father,” Danny Gokey who took home both Male Artist of the Year and Breakout Single and for KING & COUNTRY who were honored with Best Live Show and Group/Duo of the Year. A full recap of winners is listed below.
NEEDTOBREATHE opened the show with a surprise performance for the packed Opry house of fans, adding to the talent-studded line-up of TobyMac, Switchfoot, Crowder, Newsboys, Big Daddy Weave and more.
Presenters included top names in music, and a surprise taped appearance by Lady Antebellum’s Hillary Scott. University of Miami Head Football Coach Mark Richt, Retired Chicago White Sox First Baseman Adam LaRoche, Kansas City Royals’ Dayton Moore and War Room’s Alex Kendrick were among other presenters representing those in sports, films and books who are engaging and impacting popular culture for Jesus Christ.
The event was heard live across the country on the K-LOVE Radio Network and around the world on KLOVE.com. With 531 total signals in 48 states, K-LOVE Radio is enjoyed by millions of people across the country in markets including New York City, Chicago, Nashville, Philadelphia, Miami, Denver and many more.
The awards served as the conclusion of the fourth annual K-LOVE Fan Awards Ultimate Fan Experience Weekend packed with artist appearances exclusively for fans. Events included an Official Kickoff Concert, Rising Artists Dinner, Songwriter’s Showcase, a continuous fan zone, worship service, The Run For Love 5K and more.
Credit: Chris Hollo/Hollo Photographics for the Grand Ole Opry
This past Saturday (May 14), four-time GRAMMY and CMA Award winner Steve Wariner celebrated his 20th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Pete Fisher, Grand Ole Opry Vice President and General Manager, presented Wariner with a special plaque during the singer/songwriter’s performance. Country Music Hall of Fame member Bill Anderson, who inducted Wariner into the Grand Ole Opry 20 years ago, also was on hand to pay tribute to his longtime friend.
“Wow! I can’t believe I’ve been an Opry member for 20 years,” said Wariner. “It’s still one of the greatest honors of my career. I remember my first time on the Opry in 1973 as a member of Dottie West’s band back at the Ryman as if it was just yesterday. It seemed like an impossible dream back then that I would be asked to join…but it happened a few years later! Dreams can come true. Glad to call the Grand Ole Opry my home!”
Earlier in the evening, the Opry threw a backstage party for the ACM Award winner, complete with a special cake decorated with an illustration of Wariner’s red telecaster guitar.
The country music legend is currently in the studio working on a new album to be released later this year. His next concert performance will be at City Winery in Nashville on June 11 at 8:00 PM during CMA Music Festival. The show will be filmed for a future project. Tickets can be purchased HERE.
Wariner has achieved 14 No. 1 songs and more than 30 Top Ten hits, including such classics as “Holes in the Floor of Heaven,” “Life’s Highway,” “The Weekend,” “I’m Already Taken,” “I Got Dreams,” “Small Town Girl,” “Two Teardrops,” “Some Fools Never Learn,” “Lynda,” and more. An award-winning songwriter, Wariner has also composed songs for Clint Black (“Nothin’ But the Taillights”), Garth Brooks (“Longneck Bottle”), Bryan White (“One Small Miracle”), and Keith Urban (“Where the Blacktop Ends”), as well as artists such as Country Music Hall of Fame members Alabama, Kenny Rogers, The Statler Brothers, Conway Twitty, and Don Williams; pop music icon Peter Tork (of The Monkees); R&B singer Ruben Studdard; bluegrass music’s Del McCoury Band, and many more. Revered for his guitar talent, he was given the rare status of C.G. P. (Certified Guitar Player) by his mentor Chet Atkins. For more information, visit www.SteveWariner.com.