Mark Wills Inducted Into the Grand Ole Opry [Watch]
Mark Wills is officially the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry. The country singer was formally inducted into the country music institution on Friday night (Jan. 11) in Nashville.
Wills' close friend Craig Morgan, who has been an Opry member for ten years, was on hand to induct him during a sold-out show at the historic Ryman Auditorium, which was the home of the Opry for many years.
"It’s a great honor to be a part of this family as the cornerstone of our format and I’m proud to be here to welcome you," Morgan said, adding a little bit of light-hearted ribbing for his friend. "And I love knowing I will forever be embedded in your mind as part of your memory from tonight!"
“I thought many, many times what it would be like to have a good friend be the one who would induct me as a member of the Opry," Wills said. "Craig, you are a hero of mine and I will forever be indebted to you.”
Wills also reflected on how lucky he was in getting “to make my own piece of history, and it couldn’t happen at a better place than the Ryman."
Wills debuted in 1996 with "Jacob's Ladder," and began performing at the Grand Ole Opry soon after. His hits include "Places I've Never Been," "I Do (Cherish You)," "She's in Love," "Back at One" and more. He's scored two No. 1 hits over the years with "She's in Love" and "19 Somethin'."
Vince Gill surprised Wills with an invitation to join the Opry live onstage during a show on Dec. 21.
"That boy has been the greatest supporter and greatest proponent of what this Opry stands for, these people," Gill lauded the singer.
See Opry Highlights From Over the Decades