The Grand Ole Opry is continuing to hold its annual Saturday night shows amid the coronavirus pandemic, and this week's broadcast will feature Luke Bryan and Darius Rucker. The show will mark the Opry's 4,937th consecutive broadcast and will offer both singers a chance to share some new material — Bryan released his new album, Born Here, Live Here, Die Here, on Aug. 7, the same day Rucker debuted his new single, "Beers and Sunshine."
In July, Bryan and Rucker teamed up to perform a cover of John Mellencamp's "Small Town" for the CMA Best of Fest special, which they filmed standing six feet apart on the field of Nissan Stadium in Nashville. During a recent media event, Bryan shared with PopCulture.com that he sees the Opry as "the cornerstone and maybe what holds all of country music together."
View this post on Instagram
"I think it's really important for me to get on that stage and feel the emotions of what the Opry is," he told PopCulture.com and other media. "I know I get criticized on what my music is — based on the parameters of what maybe country is — but as long as I'm allowed to bring my version of music and my version of country music to the Opry, I'm always honored by that, and I'm always proud of it. I'm also always proud to try to stand on stage and do classic songs that honor our heroes. And there's nowhere more poignant and fun than to do that on stage at the Opry."
The Georgia native also shared his opinion that "if you move to Nashville, and playing the stage of the Grand Ole Opry is not one of your core goals, then I think you've got your priorities a little out of whack." Bryan shares when he moved to Nashville, he made a vision board of all the things he hoped to achieve. "I had a dry erase board, and I wrote all these goals, and certainly writing a number one song, singing a number one song, and playing the Opry were the first three," he recalled.
Bryan made his Opry debut in 2007 and added that the performance was one of the three "most challenging things" he's ever done during his career. "The three most challenging things I've ever done in entertainment is singing the anthem at the Super Bowl, the first time I did the CMAs, a full performance, and certainly walking on stage at the Opry," he said. "It's truly out of body, where you don't even know how your brain keeps up with what's going on in your surroundings. So the Opry was definitely that."