Sara Evans’ Response to Her Grand Ole Opry Invitation Is an Absolute Original
Sara Evans was asked to join the Grand Ole Opry on Thursday night (Aug. 17). Bill Anderson — the Opry's longest-serving member ever — did the honors of inviting her, but he wasn't ready for her response.
"No," Evans says a full 30 seconds after Anderson asks. She had spent that time burying her head in her hands, dabbing away tears and smiling at the audience. Of course, she was joking.
- Evans' first hit radio single was "No Place That Far," released in 1998.
- Since then she's notched five No. 1 hits on the Billboard Country Airplay chart.
- The invitation came amid a short set that included a version of "Suds in the Bucket" with Carly Pearce.
"There is no way that I would say 'no,'" Evans added. "I've been waiting to be asked to join the Opry for a long time, and it's always been a dream of mine. I'm so honored that you're (Anderson) here to ask me that question. It means everything to me."
Anderson was a fitting choice to make the formal Grand Ole Opry invite. He was introduced by Lady A, who were brought on stage to present Evans with a Platinum plaque for "Suds in the Bucket."
After recalling how Evans recorded his song "Walk Out Backwards" on her debut album, Anderson made a request of her to sing it.
An a capella version followed. Then, Whisperin' Bill got down to business.
Evans' formal induction will come on Oct. 7, 2023, during the Grand Ole Opry's 98th birthday celebration weekend. A couple weeks later — on Oct. 24 — Jon Pardi will be inducted. He was invited to join during a performance at Stagecoach in April.
The pair will push the total number of members to 75. Per the show's website, decisions about who is asked to join the venerable institution are made by Opry management.