Trisha Yearwood Praises Lauren Alaina for Honoring the Grand Ole Opry

Trisha Yearwood just celebrated 25 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry. The Georgia native has been an avid supporter and outspoken advocate of the Opry, but she says it’s the artists who came after, especially her good friend, Lauren Alaina, who makes her feel confident in the future of the hallowed institution.

“Even as an Opry member, I don’t play the Opry as much as I should,” Yearwood admitted at a recent media event. “I watch my friends, especially the generation behind me, embrace the Opry, and I love it. Lauren Alaina, she knows every person that parks cars, every crew person, all the tour guides — she knows everybody, because she has played the Opry. To me, that’s what it really is about. And the Opry’s been great to say, ‘We know you’re busy, we know you have other things, so come when you can.’ So it’s a relationship, but it’s a relationship you have to give to receive.”

It was Yearwood who invited Alaina to join the Grand Ole Opry at the end of 2021, and who also inducted her in early 2022.

“What I have gotten to observe in knowing you for the couple of years I have known you is how genuine you are,” Yearwood told Alaina during her induction ceremony. “I said this when you were invited: I really do think country music is in good hands. You are exactly the kind of artist that the Opry loves, and wants and looks for.”

“Usually, when somebody gets inducted, the person says, ‘It’s on behalf of all the members of the Grand Ole Opry,’ and I’m going to say that, but I also want to say every single person from the house band, to the crew, to the guy that’s parking cars, everybody tonight says how deserving you are and it’s about time,'” she added.

Alaina was a runner-up on Season 10 of American Idol, with Scotty McCreery being crowned the winner. Yearwood, whose husband, Garth Brooks, invited McCreery to join the Grand Ole Opry, also has high praise for the Opry’s next member.

“Scotty makes so much sense,” Yearwood told Music Mayhem. “He’s played the Opry probably more times than I have. I mean, he is always out there, which is amazing. So I feel like that when you understand what the Opry is about, then that’s when you get asked to be a member.”

Although it’s been a quarter of a century since Yearwood became an Opry member, it still means as much to her, and maybe more, whenever she gets to perform on the sacred stage.

“It just goes so fast,” Yearwood said. “When I think about somebody else being in the Opry for 25 years, that seems like such a huge thing to me. When I think about myself, I’m like, ‘How did this go so fast?’ I’ve said this many times: this, more than any other award, or any other honor, this is a family. The criteria is not easy to define. It really is just the powers that be have to decide that you don’t necesarily sing the exact same brand of country that the people who came before you did, but you have to understand what came before, and have a love and appreciation for what came before.”

Yearwood is hard at work on her next record, which will for the first time include songs that she helped write. She also recently opened her Friends in Low Places Bar and Honky Tonk with her husband, Garth Brooks.

Find all of Yearwood’s music and upcoming shows at

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Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Grand Ole Opry/Chris Hollo