Trisha Yearwood celebrated 20 years as a member of the Grand Ole Opry Tuesday night. And she did it with a little help from her famous friends.
Emmylou Harris introduced Yearwood to the stage, sharing fond memories of the budding star who’s “stunning voice” and “beautiful smile” captured country fans’ hearts. Harris inspired Yearwood to follow her dreams, it was revealed, and after that the great Patsy Cline entered the picture. Not physically, of course, but Yearwood explained she was wearing a necklace which once belonged to the late icon. Cline’s family gave it to Yearwood on the night of her Opry induction in 1999, and that led into the night’s first performance. She delivered Cline’s classic heartbreak ballad “Sweet Dreams” with poise and reverence.
Ricky Skaggs was up next, joining Yearwood for a run through the bluegrassy “Two Highways.” He and Harris stuck around to present their friend with a special plaque in honor of the occasion, but the night was far from over. Fellow stars like Kelly Clarkson, Reba McEntire and Brenda Lee offered their congratulations to Yearwood via video – and so did her husband, Garth Brooks. Brooks then appeared in front of the cheering crowd, and joined Yearwood for a rousing rendition of their emotional duet, “Whiskey to Wine.”
Yearwood finished her evening off in satisfying style. First, she said a few words about Opry legend Porter Wagoner — who led her original induction ceremony — and then she followed his sage advice. The Hall of Famer would always tell Yearwood to “sing the one that brung ya,” so she ended the night with her chart-topping debut single, “She’s In Love With the Boy.” “We’re gonna do this again in 20 years,” Yearwood told the audience. “Count on it!”