Most, if not all, of the artists in the country music industry, aim to perform at the famed Grand Ole Opry, more so to become part of it. The talented country vocal trio Rascal Flatts is not an exemption. They did not only have the chance to sing in front of the Opry crowd but they were also invited to become members of the longest-running radio broadcast in the US history. It was a dream come true for them and it came at the least time they expected it. Those things all happened seven years ago.

Here’s a brief look back at the momentous induction of Rascal Flatts into the Grand Ole Opry.

The Surprise Invitation

During a show at the Grand Ole Opry on September 27, 2011, where the Rascal Flatts performed, the group received the biggest surprise of their career. First, their fellow country music star Vince Gill’s surprised them when he suddenly appeared right after a performance. After a brief, hilarious chat, Gill announced his purpose of being there with them at that moment. Finally, he extended the program’s invitation for the group to be members of the Grand Ole Opry. The band’s lead vocalist, Gary LeVox, was obviously astonished by what the “Next Big Thing” singer has just said.

“All three of us grew up listening to the Opry…When we first signed our deal record in 1999, our main goal was, ‘we wanted to play at the Grand Ole Opry and hopefully someday, be members of the Grand Ole Opry,’” LeVox emotionally said.

He wished his grandmother and family members were around to witness the said milestone in his career. He also thanked God, the Grand Ole Opry, his band members, and everyone who’s with them that night.

The Official Induction

Rascal Flatts’ official introduction took place on the occasion of the Grand Ole Opry’s 86th birthday celebration last October 8, 2011. The said program was televised live on Great American Country (GAC). Grand Ole Opry member Little Jimmy Dickens, together with Opry general manager Pete Fisher, inducted the “Bless the Broken Road” singers. Before taking the stage, Joe Don Rooney recalled the conversation he had with his dad earlier that day. He shared this during a brief interview backstage.

“I remember when I was growing up, I would watch the Grand Ole Opry on TV,” he said. “He remembers when he was growing up listening to it on the radio. Now here we are in the year 2011 watching and listening online… We are humbled by this and can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us and the Grand Ole Opry.”

It seems that the Ohio trio isn’t done yet with big surprises while at the Opry stage. Aside from their fans all over the world, the former President George W. Bush also showed his support to the band in a surprise video tribute. With it, he expressed his and wife Laura Bush’s commendation for the singers’ acts of altruism.

“We are big fans of Gary, Jay, and Joe Don,” he started. “We love their music, and we also love their compassion and generosity. Throughout their success, Rascal Flatts have given back to their community and to our country by supporting the Make A Wish Foundation, Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross. I am especially proud of their efforts to honor the men and women of our armed forces, and the heroes who are wounded on the front lines.”

The message closes by thanking the group and extending his congratulations as well as welcoming them to the famed institution.

“So thanks for your example of excellence and patriotism, and congratulations as well as a hardy welcome to the Opry.”

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