16 Years Ago: Carrie Underwood Is Invited To Join The Grand Ole Opry

16 years ago today is a day  Carrie Underwood will never forget. On March 15, 2008, the Oklahoma native was invited by Randy Travis to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry. The invitation came less than three years after Underwood was crowned the American Idol winner.

“I was asked by the management of the Grand Ole Opry to come out and ask you if you would like to be their next member,” Travis said.

Backstage after the invitation, Underwood gushed about the honor, and what it meant to her, especially since she grew up as such a fan of country music, and especially Travis.

“Oh my gosh, that was so amazing, and I couldn’t have imagined it from a different person. Everybody here kept a tight lip,” Underwood said.

“This is what we used to watch when I was little, and where I learned about people of the past and the present, and newcomers coming in and singing,” she continued. “It’s something that’s been a huge part of country music, and it’s wonderful to think that I’m going to be a part of it, an official part of it, not just showing up and singing every once in a while.”

Travis was honored to be the one to invite Underwood to officially become a Grand Ole Opry member.

“It was fun to do the little sneaking up behind her somewhat, and watch her and the audience in the front see their response first, and then her look like, ‘Hmm. What’s going on?'” Travis said at the time.

It was fellow Oklahoma native Garth Brooks who inducted Underwood into the Grand Ole Opry on May 10, 2008.

“I can’t imagine what you’re feeling right now. I cried like a baby the whole time,” Brooks said (via CMT). “You will be rained with awards from the CMA, ACM, Grammys and all that stuff. Nothing will last as long or be more important than this award right here tonight. Congratulations.”

An emotional Underwood said she was honored to officially become a Grand Ole Opry member, especially at that point in her career.

“This is going to hold a very special place in my awards case,” Underwood said from the stage. “I just want to thank everybody at the Opry for having me as part of your family because it really seems like a great family to be part of.”

16 years after Underwood was invited to join the Opry, the historic musical venue means as much to her now as it ever did.

“It has always been just something that’s meant so much to me,” Underwood told her record label. “I feel like I’ve been very blessed to take a part in a lot of awards shows and things like that over the years, but having this [Grand Ole Opry membership] in my career that I feel like I was able to accomplish is just one of the most important things that I think I have ever done. I love the Opry.”

Underwood takes her time at the Grand Ole Opry very seriously, down to every detail, including what she wears each time she performs.

“I’m very particular when it comes to [my[ Opry wardrobe,” Underwood told Audacy’s Rob + Holly. “You see pictures on the wall, or looking up things about the Grand Ole Opry, and I feel like the women always dressed a certain caliber. It was very rhinestones, it was very shiny. It was a certain kind of dress. I love trying to carry that legacy on because they were just so beautiful to me.”

Underwood is continuing her REFLECTION: The Las Vegas Residency into the remainder of 2024.

Read ‘Carrie Underwood: 11 Things to Know About the Global Superstar’ here.