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Dionne Warwick Lands Her Opry Debut

The R&B icon will perform on the Grand Ole Opry in support of her new Christmas album, which features familiar Nashville talent.

Dionne Warwick is one of music’s most decorated R&B and gospel artists, but the icon will go country when she makes her Grand Ole Opry debut on December 6.

Warwick has long toyed with the idea of experimenting with country music, which goes to show that performing on the Opry isn’t just a dream for rising country singers. For artists of other genres, being a part of an American institution — even if only for a night — is an honor. Warwick will add her name to a list of distinguished non-country performers including James Brown, Barry Gibb, and Pharrell Williams who have all appeared on the Opry in its 94-year history.  

“Country music is so related to gospel,” Warwick told USA Today in 2011. “It seems I could go down that road pretty easily.” The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award winner’s career has spanned six decades and includes hits like “That’s What Friends Are For” and “Walk on By.”

In 2006, she released My Friends & Me, which included duets with Reba McEntire and Wynonna Judd. Now she’s revisiting her country ties with Dionne Warwick & The Voices of Christmas.

The Christmas duets album features an eclectic range of artists including Wanya Morris of Boyz II Men, “Rise Up” singer Andra Day, and Johnny Mathis. But she also spent time recording in Tennessee with familiar Music City talent. Opry members Ricky Skaggs and The Oak Ridge Boys lent their voices alongside John Rich of Big & Rich for “Jingle Bells.”

How did such a collaboration come to be? Warwick and Rich became friends while competing on Celebrity Apprentice. Rich got the idea to bring The Oak Ridge Boys into the fold to sing the chorus of “Jingle Bells” and Skaggs to play the mandolin during the song’s bridge.

“She’s just pure class from beginning to the end and still has all her chops,” Rich says of Warwick in Billboard. “She’s just a gorgeous person.”

“Jingle Bells” isn’t the only song on Warwick’s album that features a country artist. Eric Paslay sings on “Frosty the Snowman.” He is also set to perform on the Opry on Friday, meaning the audience will get to experience the pair’s magical rendition of the beloved Christmas song live.

It’s sure to be an eventful evening as Warwick sings a couple of familiar hits of her own, too.  

Don’t miss Dionne Warwick’s Opry Debut!
The legend will appear on December 6 for two shows alongside Rita Wilson, Eric Paslay, Dusty Slay, Ashley Monroe, and more.