We’ll Drink to That! Blake Shelton Celebrates Opry Anniversary With a Fifth
Blake Shelton celebrated his fifth anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry with another fifth — of whiskey, that is.
Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fischer surprised the star onstage on Tuesday (Sept. 22), presenting the "Gonna" singer with a special bottle of whiskey with his name on it.
"Standing here, I can't believe that I've been a member of this thing for freakin' five years. When they inducted me, I didn't think I'd live five more years, man," Shelton quipped. "So I'm shocked. I think we should do something special tonight ..."
That's when Fisher interrupted him, coming out onstage in front of the audience to present Shelton with his gift. First he ribbed the star, who joked that he thought he was being fired. "There are some issues," Fisher teased.
"You're gonna fire me from the Opry on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry? Man, this is perfect for my year," Shelton joked in an oblique reference to his very public divorce. "Thank you so much. It's been one of those years. I really appreciate it."
Fisher first presented the singer with a miniature version of a bronze plaque that the Opry commissioned for its ongoing 90th anniversary celebration, which bears his name and will be on display backstage at the country music institution. Then he reached into his bag, saying, "We are recognizing your five-year Opry anniversary. We hear you have been very excited about your fifth," he said, causing Shelton to exclaim, "I love a fifth! You know I do."
"Seeing as how you've been so opposed to the no alcohol policy backstage," Fisher continued, "we were thinking, when you were excited about the fifth, you were thinking about another type of fifth. So we are presenting you with your own version -- not available in stores, now or ever -- Blake Shelton's Old No. 5 Grand Ole Opry Anniversary Whiskey."
The country star was enthusiastic about the gift, especially since he got one more present -- a one-night suspension of the Opry's ban on alcohol. "You can share it if you like, but remember you have a commitment to be on this stage at 11 o'clock tonight," Fisher warned him comically.
Shelton was recently announced as a headliner for 2016 Country Jam in Grand Junction, Colo., along with his good friend Brad Paisley. The pair are also working together on this season of The Voice, with Paisley serving as a mentor to Team Blake.
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