Jon Pardi will be the next member of the Grand Ole Opry. The father of one was invited to join the Opry earlier this year, with a little help from his good friend, Guy Fieri, while Pardi was performing at Stagecoach.
“When I first saw Guy on stage, I was like, ‘What the hell is Guy doing on stage? And how did he get a microphone?'” Pardi recalled to Everything Nash at a recent media event. “Guy’s a good friend, and he was so excited. He knew about it for a long time. We’re buddies, and he never said anything.”
For Pardi, it meant even more that the event was at Stagecoach, since he was born and raised in California, where the music festival is held.
“It was a great moment out and it was cool that it was at Stagecoach,” Pardi said. “It’s one of my favorite festivals in country music. and it’s the biggest in California. Tying my home state to country music in Nashville and the Grand Ole Opry, I thought it was really special, and I thought it was a look that nobody’s really seen. It gave the Opry a stronger connection with the crowd in the West Coast. They knew exactly what the Grand Ole Opry was. They went crazy. It was pretty cool.”
Of course, it was Alan Jackson who officially invited Pardi to become a member, via a video message. Opry Executive Producer Dan Rogers was also on hand, with the official Grand Ole Opry microphone.
“Alan’s always been good to me since the 2015 tour,” Pardi said, referring to Jackson’s Keepin’ It Country Tour. “He’s always been very complimentative since. He sends me random gifts. He had a book and his whiskey, and he sent me that. He always sneaks it to me.”
When Jackson surprised Pardi with the invitation, he told the “Your Heart or Mine” singer that he was also making country music history with the invitation.
“The Grand Ole Opry has always meant a lot to me, and everybody in country music,” Jackson said at the time. “And I’ve been appreciating your music ever since you toured with me a few years ago. And so I get the honor to invite you in front of all of your Stagecoach friends out there, to be the first native from California to become an official member of the Grand Ole Opry.”
A date for Pardi’s induction into the Grand Ole Opry has yet to be announced. Find all of Pardi’s music and upcoming shows at JonPardi.com.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Schmidt Relations / Jody Domingue