Neither country music nor the Grand Ole Opry would exist without the impact and influence of diverse artists and multiple cultures. But over the course of nearly 100 years, the Opry has at times been part of a problem within country music suppressing the contributions of our diverse community. This included the use of blackface by some artists in the Opry’s first three decades and the dismissal of early Black Opry star DeFord Bailey more than 80 years ago. Few artists of color played the Opry stage until more recent years, and in the past the Opry did not always show gender equity on stage or backstage. Other groups were similarly uncelebrated. More recently, the Opry has worked toward positive change, including numerous diverse artists making debuts and becoming show favorites. We are committed to growing, listening, and learning. While the Opry cannot change mistakes of the past, we acknowledge them, we are sorry for hurt those decisions caused then and now, and we vow to be a leader in creating a welcoming and inclusive future for country music.

Learn more about our commitment. 

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