Grand Ole Opry Kicks Off CMA Music Festival Week With Star-Studded Performances
Kellie Pickler, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, Kree Harrison, Ricky Skaggs, Diamond Rio, Bill Anderson, and Lennon and Maisy from ABC’s Nashville all performed at the Grand Ole Opry last night as the Opry kicked off its CMA Music Week with two star-packed sold-out shows.
Harrison, a 2013 American Idol finalist, made her Opry debut, with Opry member and Idol judge Keith Urban introducing her. Urban shared, “When I heard her night after night, I would close my eyes and imagine what she would sound like at the Opry. Because that’s the voice you wanna hear at the Opry. That’s the spirit you want to feel at the Opry.”
Taking the stage, Harrison said, “Wow! I’m trying to soak all of this in. This is a life-long dream of mine, and here we are!” Later, Urban and Harrison joined voices on the country classic “Help Me Make It Through The Night.”
The Opry fun began earlier in the afternoon with an Opry Plaza Party presented by Humana®, which featured a performance by hit-maker Lee Brice and newcomer Tyler Farr.
Additional Opry performances during CMA Music Festival this week include two shows on Fri., June 7, when Opry member Carrie Underwood takes the stage to celebrate her 5th anniversary as an Opry member. Country Music Hall of Famers Mel Tillis and Charley Pride plus Josh Turner, Lauren Alaina, and many others will also be on the June 7 line-up.
The Fifth Annual Guitars of the Stars Benefit Auction is set for 5 p.m. Thurs., June 6 at the CMA Music Fest Buckle Stage at 4th Ave. and Broadway downtown. Acclaimed Nashville visual artists have contributed one-of-a-kind guitars both inspired and autographed by country favorites including Alabama, Lauren Alaina, Alan Jackson, Little Big Town, Brad Paisley, Kellie Pickler,Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, as well as members of the cast of Nashville. Guitar great Steve Wariner and Jonathan Jackson from ABC’s Nashville are set to perform, with radio and TV personality Bill Cody hosting. The event is open to the public, and all proceeds from the auction will benefit the Opry Trust Fund, which assists members of the country music community in need.
Opry Originals on the corner of 3rd Ave. and Broadway is set to host country favorites for artist signings and welcome fans for a front window Opry photo opp and Opry backpack giveaways beginning Wed., June 5. Among artists scheduled to appear are Mark Chesnutt, Easton Corbin, Casey James, Craig Morgan, Oak Ridge Boys, Mel Tillis, and Mark Wills.
An Opry at the Ryman Matinee Sat., June 8, 3 p.m. will bring the excitement of an Opry performance downtown, rounding out the Opry’s CMA Fest week show schedule. Among those scheduled for the downtown show include the Oak Ridge Boys, Joey + Rory, and Mark Wills.