Mandy Barnett will be the next member of the Grand Ole Opry! The multi-talented star was invited to join, on her 46th birthday, by Connie Smith. Smith joined Barnett on stage to read her a birthday card, which included an invitation to become part of the hallowed institution.
“You’ve felt like family since we first met, and on this, your special day, we’re honored to invite you to become an official member of the Grand Ole Opry!” Smith read.
Barnett was visibly stunned and emotional as she accepted the invitation.
“This is the happiest day of my life!” she said. “I came here back in the 80’s and met so many of the greats that came before me like Roy Acuff, Minnie Pearl, Jean Shepard, Billy Walker — and you Connie. I made my Opry debut in 1994 and I’ve had so many supporters who have rooted for me and been nice to me all these years.”
The Grand Ole Opry’s Vice-President and Executive Producer Dan Rogers also praised Barnett, not only for her talent, but for her appreciation of the Opry.
“Night after night, year after year, we’ve been astounded by Mandy’s magnificent performances,” Rogers said. “She loves the Opry and the Opry loves her right back. It’s a great match now and will be for years to come.”
Barnett will be officially inducted later this fall. She will also perform in each of the Grand Ole Opry’s four Opry Country Christmas shows, which will debut this coming holiday season.
Barnett had appeared on the Grand Ole Opry more than 400 times before being invited to become a member.
“There is absolutely no feeling as incredible as singing on the Grand Ole Opry,” Barnett says. “It’s a magical place!”
In addition to her singing career, which includes numerous albums, she is also an esteemed actress. Barnett played the role of Patsy Cline in Always…Patsy Cline, Her latest record, Every Star Above, is available for purchase at MandyBarnett.com.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Schmidt Relations / Chris Hollo