Carrie Underwood inducted Kelsea Ballerini into the Grand Ole Opry! The ceremony occurred on Tuesday, April 16, with both women reflecting on the significance of the moment.
"I want to thank [the Grand Ole Opry] for asking, this talented, incredible, smart, sweet, beautiful, woman to be a member," Underwood remarked. "You have accomplished so much, in your career. And, you will undoubtedly accomplish infinite amounts more, in your career and in your life. Awards, and number ones, and sales, tours, and fans, and just all of it – his is better than all of that.
"This is the heart and soul of country music," she added. "The Opry has been and will always be here. The heart and soul of country music, the family. You are in it. Congratulations. Welcome to the family."
Ballerini struggled to regain her composure as she shared her thoughts from stage.
"I feel like, we can all agree that life moves really fast," Ballerini began. "And, I think, that especially, since I moved to Nashville, I had this big dream, to do all these kinds of things. I've rarely looked up, there's rarely been a moment, that's made me just stop, and take a minute, and be grateful, and look up. And, one that I remember is February 14th, 2015, and that, is when I made my Opry debut.
"And, one is right now," she continued. "And I just want to say, that's so nice and comforting to know, that no matter where life takes me, and no matter if the radio stops playing me tomorrow, and whatever happens, that I can always come here, and I can always country music."
Ballerini also honored Underwood, and the path that the American Idol alum helped forge for other women, like Ballerini.
"I really wouldn't know what it looks to be woman in country music, without Carrie Underwood," Ballerini maintained. "Every other female, that is on the wall in the Women of Country dressing room, but especially [Underwood]. I've watched you since you started. And, not only do I look up to for your talent and songs, but your grace an your poise and your heart. And, if I can be half the artist you are, I feel like I'm doing something right. So, thank you for making time tonight, to do this."
Little Big Town invited Ballerini to become an Opry member during a show last month.
Keith Urban was also on hand to sing prior to Ballerini's induction. Ballerini is currently on her headlining Miss Me More Tour, which sold out the first three shows. Find dates at Ballerini's website.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Grand Ole Opry/Chris Hollo