The Grand Ole Opry is a country music icon, the very cornerstone of what country music means. It is an honor of magnanimous proportion to receive an invitation to become a Grand Ole Opry member.
The Grand Ole Opry’s management decides which country music singers are invited to become members. The decision is based on country music singers’ radio airplay time, sales of tickets and CDs and recognition by the country music industry. Past accomplishments in the country music industry and future potential of the country music singers are also considered. The biggest and brightest stars are not always the ones considered for membership. A large part of the decision is based on the relationship an entertainer has with his/her fans. The Grand Old Opry requires a deep level of commitment to their fans, their fellow entertainers and to the show.
If I were on the Grand Ole Opry’s nomination committee, these would be 10 of my nominations.
1. Clay Walker.
A couple of years ago, I saw Clay Walker perform at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, and he was amazing. This entertainer puts on a wonderful show. Clay is much loved by his fans in Houston and is a staple at the HLS&R. He has a great voice and has the moves to go with it. He inspires the audience to jump and sing and dance along with him. His shows are great fun. Since Clay first made the Billboard country chart with his 1993 single “What’s It To You”, he has had four platinum albums and two gold. Although Walker does have multiple sclerosis, his illness is well controlled and he has never missed a show due to his MS.
2. Tim McGraw.
Tim McGraw is the epitome of every man. His music portrays the average Joe, the workin’ man. Tim has sold 40 million CD’s and has had 30 #1 singles. Some of his many awards include 3 Grammys and 11Country Music Association awards. He has also received 3 People’s Choice awards and 11 Academy of Country Music awards. McGraw is adored by his fans. Each year since 1994, Tim McGraw has had at least one #1 single. In addition to his accomplishments in country music, he is first and foremost a family man.
3. Lee Ann Womack.
Singer/songwriter Lee Ann Womack is best known for her phenomenal 2000 hit, “I Hope You Dance”. The stunning Ms. Womack has been the recipient of one Grammy award, five Country Music Association awards and five Academy of Country Music awards. Lee Ann’s latest CD, “Call Me Crazy”, was released in October, 2008 and features her hauntingly wonderful song, “Last Call”.
4. Kenny Chesney
Kenny Chesney’s amazing biceps are not his only achievement by far, but they are definitely worth mention. Moving right along…Kenny Chesney is the four-time winner of the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award. Four must be Chesney’s lucky number because his albums “When the Sun Goes Down, “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Problems” and “Greatest Hits” have all reached quadruple platinum.
5. Rascal Flatts.
Since this country-rock band’s debut single “Prayin’ for Daylight” reached number three on the Billboard country charts in 2000, they have come a long way. Rascal Flatts is a family band as Gary LeVox and Jay DeMarcus are cousins. Just a few of their achievements include winning numerous ACM, CMT and CMA awards. They currently hold the 2009 ACM Top Vocal Group and 2009 People’s Choice Awards Favorite Group honors. My favorite Rascal Flatts hit is “Bless the Broken Road”.
6. Keith Urban.
I must say “WOW!” I’m a die-hard Keith Urban fan. He is the total package. Keith is an accomplished guitarist, having played guitar for such country music greats as Charlie Daniels, Garth Brooks and the Dixie Chicks. Urban has won many awards both in Australia and the U.S. Just a few of them include Grammy’s in 2006 and 2008. In 2005, he won CMA Entertainer of the Year as well as International Artist of the Year. In 2009, along with Brad Paisley they won Best Vocal Event of the Year with “Start a Band”. Keith Urban’s awards are too many to list here, and I’m sure this is only the beginning for this talented country music star. His latest CD “Defying Gravity” is in stores now.
7. Brooks & Dunn.
Need I say more? Well, I will. These two country music singers by 2008 have won 26 Academy of Country Music awards, 17 Country Music Association awards, 3 American Music Awards, 2 Grammy’s, 1 People’s Choice Award, and these are only a few. Their debut album, “Brand New Man” was certified 6x multi-platinum. Their second album, “Hard Workin’ Man” was a 5x multi-platinum success. The multi-platinum albums kept coming after that. Their latest single, “Indian Summer”, is a must hear.
8. Faith Hill.
Faith made her debut in 1993 with her “Take Me As I Am” album. She won her first Academy of Country Music award the same year, and there were 28 awards to follow, including 6 Grammy’s.
9. Wynonna Judd.
Wynonna first made her claim to fame with her mother, Naomi, as The Judds. Wynonna and Naomi disbanded in 1991 when Naomi became ill. Her first three solo singles charted number 1. She has three albums that are platinum or higher. In 2007, Wynonna was presented with a star on the Music City Walk of Fame. Wynonna hosted the 2007 season of “Nashville Star”. She is also the United States Ambassador for YouthAIDS.
10. Blake Shelton.
Blake’s 2001 album, “Austin”, stayed on the Billboard top 40 country chart for 70 weeks straight. Shelton has performed at the Grand Ole Opry. In 2001, he was named R&R Breakthrough Artist of the Year. He also received Music Row Magazine’s Critics Pick Award as well as Country Weekly Fan Favorite Award in 2002. People Country Special has featured Black in their June 2009 issue as one of “Country’s Hottest Guys”. it out
These are just a few of my favorite country music singers. Maybe they will be the next Grand Ole Opry stars.y clicking on the picture or picking up your own copy!
Grand Ole Opry, www.grandoleopry.com
Clay Walker www.claywalker.com
Tim McGraw www.timmcgraw.com
Lee Ann Womack www.leeannwomack.com
Kenny Chesney www.kennychesney.com
Rascal Flatts www.rascalflatts.com
Keith Urban www.keithurban.net
Musician Guide www.musicianguide.com