Since making his debut in 2012, Dustin Lynch has delighted thousands of Grand Ole Opry fans with high-energy performances.

His Heartfelt Opry Debut

You never quite know how your Opry debut will hit you. When Dustin hit the stage for the first time, he was overcome with emotion as he stood in the Opry circle. He’d been backstage at the Opry before but vowed that he wouldn’t step into the hollowed circle of wood until it came time to perform on it. On March 2, 2012, not even two months since he released his first single, “Cowboys and Angels,” Dustin got his chance to cross a dream that had been on the top of his list for the longest time.

His Full-Circle Invitation by Trace Adkins

Six years after leading off his Opry debut with his first-ever radio single “Cowboys and Angels,” Dustin concluded his August 21, 2018 set with the same song when Trace Adkins made an unexpected appearance on stage.

“This is my 15th anniversary [as an Opry member], so I can do whatever I want,” Trace joked to the crowd. Trace cut right to the chase: Dustin’s passion for the Opry has been clear from the start, so would he like to become the institution’s newest member?

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Dustin’s signature smile went from 1,000 watts to a million as he accepted the invitation from Trace.

“I wish you weren’t so big. I wanted to pick you up, but I couldn’t,” Dustin quipped to Trace, who stands at 6 feet 6 inches tall. 

Despite the invitation being a complete surprise, it was fitting that Trace did the honors, for reasons Dustin revealed later that night. When Dustin was in high school, years before he became a country artist himself, Trace was the first country artist he had ever met. Who better to ask him to join the family?

His Induction Featuring “Crush” Reba McEntire

Reba McEntire has always held a special place in Dustin’s heart as his “lifelong crush.” Dustin has even worn a Reba tour shirt on at least one occasion on the Grand Ole Opry stage. As if his Opry induction wasn’t already nerve-wracking, Reba did the honors.

“We’re paving the way like Minnie, Roy, Porter, and all the greats before us paved the way for us. Congratulations and welcome to one of the best families in the world,” Reba told Dustin in a heartfelt induction speech.

Both stars became emotional, and when Dustin tried to hold back the tears into his first set as an official Opry member, Reba returns to the stage to hand him a box of tissues. That box of tissues became a priceless memento from a banner moment in Dustin’s career.

“Now I’ve got them in a shadowbox, my Opry trophy and my Reba tissues,” Dustin told Taste of Country Nights.

His Impromptu On-Stage Meet-and-Greets

Always one to smile for a selfie or give out high-fives, Dustin is exceptional at working a crowd. He puts the fans centerstage during his Opry appearances, and that is particularly evident whenever he breaks out into singing “Good Girl.”  

During his performances, it’s not uncommon for a parade of excited fans to gather around the base of the stage to say hello to the singer. Every time, their reactions are priceless, and Dustin always gets a big kick out of it himself. Only the Opry puts the biggest stars in reach.

His Cupid-Level Skills with Friend’s On-Stage Proposal  

Growing up in nearby Tullahoma, Tennessee, Dustin was encouraged by his childhood friends to pursue country music. In 2019, Dustin got to return the favor by creating magic for one of his friends on country music’s grandest stage. 

“Believe it or not, they are the reason that I am on this stage, and the reason I ever started singing on stage in my life when I was 15,” Dustin told the crowd.

He then invited two of his friends along with their significant others onto the Opry circle to take a selfie. It became clear that the selfie was actually a setup when Dustin handed the mic to longtime friend Matt, who got down on one knee to propose to his girlfriend, Courtney. She said yes to a large applause from the audience.