5 Humbling Moments From Luke Combs’ Opry Induction
Surrounded by family, friends and several of his country music heroes, Luke Combs became the 211th member of the Grand Ole Opry on Tuesday night (July 16).
Following an invitation by Chris Janson, Craig Morgan and John Conlee in June, Combs was officially inducted by Vince Gill and Joe Diffie, and fans packed the Opry house to show their support. The multi-generational audience could be heard singing along to a performance by Combs that included mega-hits "When It Rains it Pours" and "Beer Never Broke My Heart."
Combs used the word "humbling" to describe the experience of being welcomed into the hallowed institution — here are five moments that show what he means.
1. "When you come here, you're just treated like you're supposed to be here."
In a pre-ceremony press conference, Combs spoke to media about the significance of becoming a part of the Opry family. One aspect he and his peers often comment on is the camaraderie and respectful nature of the Opry family, ranging from his fellow members to the security staff. As someone who lives by the Golden Rule, Combs sees those same values in the Opry.
"I always try to treat people the way that I would want to be treated and the Opry is kind of the pinnacle of that to me," he says. "When you come here, you're just treated like you're supposed to be here — like you deserve to be here — and that goes a really long way with me. I'm just honored to be a part of it."
2. "I loved writing songs."
Before he was selling out arenas, Combs has long been anchored by his passion for music. While his career continues to skyrocket, the "Hurricane" singer is grateful knowing that he'll always have a sacred space to showcase the songs he creates at the Opry, further connecting him to his love of music.
"I loved writing songs and I loved playing those songs for people who loved to hear them, and I think at the end of the day, that's what this is all about," he explains. "To know that as a member of the Opry family I'll have the opportunity to continue to share my songs with people for the rest of my life, I think that is a really awesome, important thing for me."
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3. "This is what dreams are made of right here!"
Twenty-eight-year Opry member Vince Gill was one of the many who helped welcomed the fast rising hitmaker into his new musical home. It was a full-circle moment for Combs, Gill's concert was the first concert he attended when he was 6 (with his mother and grandmother), both of whom were in the audience on Tuesday. Always a poet, Gill raved about Combs' talent as a vocalist before taking a more reverent tone, reflecting on the history of the institution and the power in connecting with the most important people at the Opry — the fans.
"This is what dreams are made of right here, a night like this," Gill began. "What I want to tell you about this place is you look around and you see all these people out here. If you'll come here and if you'll invest in the people and this stage, you'll get back a hundred fold what you ever give to this place. It's been going on for 93 years and going so long because this stage represents the entire history of this music, not just what's current," he said, praising that Combs is at the top of his game. "This place will benefit because you'll come here."
4. "I will never forget tonight."
Surrounded by an army of supporters, including recent inductees Janson and Dustin Lynch, alongside veteran acts Morgan, Mark Wills and the Gatlin Brothers, Diffie took a moment to look back on his induction 25 years prior before making Combs an official part of country music history.
"I just remember being asked to be a member of the Opry and it was like a dream, it still feels like a dream, even to this day," Diffie reflected, roars of applause coming from the crowd.
As Combs officially became a member of the Grand Ole Opry, he thanked the crowd profusely for making his dream a reality. "Without you all, there is no country music, there is no Grand Ole Opry," he said, raising his Opry statue in the air. "Thank you so much for everything that you guys do for making this possible for guys like us on this stage. I will never forget tonight."
5. "This One's for You"
Combs brought the monumental experience to a close with the song he cites as his favorite he's ever written. The namesake of his debut album that helped launch his star status, Combs concluded his set with an acoustic rendition of "This One's for You" that serves as a humble thank you to the people that have remained by his side, with Combs dedicating it to the family, friends and fans in the audience ranging from his fiancé Nicole Hocking to his high school chorus teacher. It's a song that holds more meaning than ever in 2019.
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