2018 has been a milestone year for rising country star Tenille Townes. In addition to signing a record deal with Columbia Nashville (an arm of Sony Music Nashville), Townes was invited to make her Grand Ole Opry debut. On Saturday, June 23, the singer, along with 140 of her friends and family, made their way (some from as far as Canada) to the legendary Opry House for a memorable evening. To celebrate the momentous occasion in her career, the “Where You Are” singer kept a diary of her day to share with her fans on Sounds Like Nashville. Here, in her own words, is her account of the special day.
Hey Guys! My name is Tenille Townes and I’m from Alberta, Canada. On Saturday night I had the great honour of performing for the first time on the Grand Ole Opry stage. This has been a dream of mine since I made my first trip to Nashville 10 years ago, and since I used to listen to the radio show with my grandparents as a little kid. Walking in that legendary circle was a moment I’ll never forget. It has been the most incredible weekend and I’m so excited to get to share all that happened with you. Thanks for being a part of this!
I had some very special people come all the way to Nashville to celebrate this weekend with me. Growing up, my family, my friends, and my community who raised me had such a big impact on my life and always believed in this music dream with me. They are truly amazing people, and have been a part of this music adventure from the beginning when I was singing the national anthem at our hockey games, or performing at all kinds of local events as a kid. They used to joke that they would all be coming Nashville one day to see me on the Grand Ole Opry Stage, but they weren’t really joking because they all came! So many of them wanted to come, that they were actually able to rent an entire plane and fill 140 seats on it. Seeing them come down off those escalators at the Nashville airport was the most incredible thing. I’ll never forget it and I love them all so much.
I had the most beautiful day at the Grand Ole Opry. We arrived through the artist entrance, which was so cool, and after checking in, they showed me to my dressing room. I was in Dressing Room No.4 which is called “Into the Circle” and the one they save for anybody making their Grand Ole Opry Debut. I had goosebumps walking through those doors and reading all the inspiring quotes on the walls. I loved hanging in here, and everybody at the Opry took the best care of us!
Before the show started, I’m so grateful I had a moment to step out on the stage before anybody came to take their seat in the audience. I stood in that circle for the first time and looked out in awe, thinking about how much history that spot holds for the heart of country music. I even got to invite my family to stand in that circle with me and we were all tearing up, dancing around, and just having the most amazing moment as a family. It meant so much to get to share that with them.
The day flew by, and all the sudden it was show time. It was an honour to be introduced by Ms. Jeannie Seeley. I ran into her backstage before the show and got to give her a big hug and get a picture together. She was truly so sweet to talk to. I heard her call my name and I ran out so excited to get to play some music on that stage. Everybody told me once I got out there, to take a moment to breathe and look around, and I really did. Before I stepped in that circle and up to that mic, I said a little prayer of gratitude and just took it in. I’ll never forget that feeling. I had the time of my life up there.
I’m still processing all of this and soaking it in, but it was such a dream to get to play such a sacred place. And to be able to share it with so many people I love meant the world to me. I’ll always remember this weekend and it will bring me so much joy every time I replay it in my mind. It was so special.