Sara Evans Surprised With Invitation To Join The Grand Ole Opry


Sara Evans got the surprise of a lifetime when longtime Opry member Whisperin’ Bill Anderson asked her to join the Opry family Thursday night (August 17).

While on stage for her sold out Ryman Auditorium show celebrating the 20th anniversary of her album “Restless,” Bill Anderson joined Sara Evans on stage to extend the invitation. Whisperin’ Bill told the crowd how he went to watch Sara perform at a warehouse prior to her debut album release.

“It’s a long way from that warehouse to selling out the Ryman,” Anderson said before telling the singer that he had two questions for her. He first asked if she would sing his song “Walk Out Backwards,” one of the songs he heard her sing in the warehouse years ago.

Then he asked Evans if she would like to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry.


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Fellow Opry members Carly Pearce and Lady A, who were both welcomed to the Opry family in 2021, were onstage with Sara for the emotional moment.

“There is no way that I would say no, first of all. I’ve been waiting to be asked to join the Opry for a long time. It’s always been a dream of mine. And I’m so honored that you’re here to ask me that question,” an emotional Evans told Bill Anderson.


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Fan video captured part of a special message Dolly Parton had for Sara Evans.


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Sara Evans will officially join the Grand Ole Opry on October 7 as its 225th member and the third artist of 2023 to make it official. Henry Cho and Gary Mule Deer were invited in January and joined in February and March, respectively. Jon Pardi received an invitation to join the Opry during his performance at the Stagecoach Festival in April and his formal membership ceremony is scheduled for October 24.

Who is Sara Evans?

Sara Evans found country music success upon the release of her breakout album, Born to Fly, in 2000. Evans had released two prior albums that were met with lukewarm success. But, Born to Fly would launch her career, gaining double platinum status and giving Evans her second No. 1 song with the title track.

She has charted a total of five No. 1 songs on the Billboard country songs chart and has sold more than 6 million albums.

Sara was named the ACM’s Top Female Vocalist in 2005 and has received numerous nominations from the CMAs, ACMs, CMT Music Awards, American Music Awards and more.

Watch one of Sara Evans’ earliest Grand Ole Opry performances from 2002 in the video below.