The Grand Ole Opry brings country music legends like Bill Anderson and Jimmy Dickens, today’s superstars like Carrie Underwood and Blake Shelton, and up-and-coming artists together on one stage creating unforgettable shows every week. Into The Circle introduces the newest Opry performers as they make their Grand Ole Opry debut and step into the circle for the first time.
Summer Debuts at the Opry
Stepping into the Opry circle is something that aspiring country artists dream about. For several of those artists, this dream became a reality this summer. Kree Harrison, Joel Crouse, Janelle Arthur, Ayla Brown, Sara Haze, Drake White, Aaron Lewis, Tate Stevens, and Cassadee Pope, are among those who recently made it to the Opry circle. Take a look at why these artists, like so many before them, call their Opry debut a night to remember.
Sara Haze | May 10, 2013
Sara is originally from Orange Country, California. She started writing and recording her own music when she was fourteen and has had over one hundred film and TV placements including; Safe Haven, The Hills, The Secret Life Of The American Teenager, and America’s Next Top Model, just to name a few. She will be opening shows for Hunter Hayes, Gloriana, Little Big Town and the legendary Loretta Lynn. Needless to say, Sara’s debut on the Opry was a dream come true for her.
Take a look at Sara’s debut performance on the show that made country music famous.
Joel Crouse | May 11, 2013
Nashville is extremely lucky to have this singer/songwriter from Massachusetts. Joel grew up listening to all genres of music, but it was when he began listening to the stories behind the lyrics where he fell in love with country music. Joel has gone from the Opry stage to a red stage with Taylor Swift. Joel is busy traveling the country opening Taylor’s RED Tour.
No matter where you are from, you can dream of playing the Opry stage.
— Joel Crouse (@JoelCrouse) May 11, 2013
Ayla Brown | May 25, 2013
You may remember Ayla Brown from American Idol, but this Massachusetts native is now in Nashville. Ayla has already released her debut album, followed by her patriotic album titled, Heroes and Hometowns, which features “Pride of America,” a song she showcased during her debut performance on the Opry. Her performance was very special during Memorial Day Weekend when she had very special guests from the U.S. military join her on the Opry stage.
Aaron Lewis | May 28, 2013
Before Aaron took the Opry stage for the first time he said, “Getting to play the Grand Ole Opry is such an incredible honor. It’s a dream come true to think that I’ll get to stand in that same iconic circle where music royalty has stood.”
What were his thoughts right after? Check out his tweet.
Gotta say in the immortal words of the late great Chris Farley ……that……was……AWESOME
— Aaron Lewis (@AaronLewisMusic) May 29, 2013
Aaron performed his new song “Granddaddy’s Gun” during his debut. Watch his performance now.
Kree Harrison | June 4, 2013
Shortly after wrapping things up with American Idol, Kree was off to Nashville to make her debut on the Opry stage. Not only did she step into the circle, but she also had friend, Idol judge, and Opry Member Keith Urban join her for a classic. Needless to say, it was a night she will never forget.
How amazing is it to look back at your debut performance and say “I sang with Keith Urban!”
Tate Stevens | June 8, 2013
Millions and millions of people voted for Tate each week on season two of The X-Factor. Since his win on the big show, Tate has already released his debut album. His first single “Power Of A Love Song” is climbing the charts!
Getting ready to play the Grand Ole Opry! Very honored!!!
— Tate Stevens (@tatestevensctry) June 29, 2013
Watch Tate perform a powerful version of his debut single!
Janelle Arthur | June 19, 2013
If you watched American Idol this season, you’ll recognize this Tennessee native. Many artists who have stepped into the circle have a hard time figuring out if they were living a dream. Janelle is no different.
During her debut, Janelle performed Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry.” Watch it now.
Drake White | July 12, 2013
As you can see, we are very excited about the musical offerings of many of Nashville’s newcomers – with MCA’s Drake White being one of them. With his new single “The Simple Life” on the radio, and tour dates filling up this summer, it’s an exciting time for the singer.
We’re pretty sure this is a highlight of his summer!
— Drake White (@DrakeWhite) July 13, 2013
Cassadee Pope | July 16, 2013
When Cassadee joined coach (and Opry Member) Blake Shelton’s team on TV reality competition The Voice in the fall of 2012, she quickly showcased her voice within the country genre. She went on to win The Voice in December and has since signed a country record deal with Republic Nashville, she has toured with Opry Members Rascal Flatts and she is set to release her debut album this fall. Her current single “Wasting All These Tears” is getting a ton of buzz!
Did we mention who took the stage after her debut performance? Opry Member Darius Rucker!
Check out her new music video for “Wasting All These Tears” now!
From the Opry house to yours, listen to the talent that has stepped or are soon to step into the infamous circle this summer.