One of Carly Pearce's biggest dreams came true earlier this month when she was invited by Dolly Parton to officially become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. Pearce was at the Opry on June 17 to film what she thought was a promotion for Parton's theme park, Dollywood, where Pearce began her musical career at age 16.
As Pearce was speaking to the camera, Parton walked in to surprise her, prompting Pearce to exclaim, "Nuh-uh!" and walk to the other side of the room. "We set this up so I can kind of walk in on you because I wanted to surprise you,” Parton told an emotional Pearce. "First of all, I just wanted to tell you, I wanted to tell you how proud I am of you. Do you know she started singing at Dollywood when she was 16 years old? You do remember, don’t you? I know that they told me that you have been on the Grand Ole Opry, 80 times, you’ve performed."
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"Oh my goodness, I’m just trying to follow in your footsteps," Pearce said. "Well, you should be a member of the Grand Ole Opry," Parton declared. "What’s wrong with them? Well, I came here to tell you that you are now an official member of the Grand Ole Opry!" Pearce was so overcome that she crouched to the floor, which prompted Parton to tell her, "Well, you can't do it sitting down!"
"It’s official! It’s official!" added Parton, who herself has been an Opry member for over 50 years. Pearce will be officially inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on Aug. 3, 2021. "Dreams come true… sometimes even better than you dare to dream," she captioned a video of the special moment on Instagram. "I couldn’t be happier or more honored the be the newest member of the @opry."
Earlier this year, Pearce told PopCulture.com just how much an Opry membership would mean to her. "I understand what it means to be a member," she said, referencing Carrie Underwood's longtime ties to the organization. "I don't really know that any artist since Carrie has really done their full duty at the Opry, the way she has, she really took it on," Pearce reflected. "Understood it, wanted to make it a part of her brand. I feel like I'm trying to follow in her footsteps because I respect that so much, and hopefully fingers crossed that'll happen."