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LUKE COMBS' OPRY DREAM COMES TRUE
7/17/19

By Holly Gleason

Luke Combs stood in center of the circle of wood from the Ryman Auditorium implanted on the Opry stage, having just played his #1s “When It Rains (It Pours)” and “Beer Never Broke My Heart,” as Vince Gill explained, “This is what dreams are made of.” Visibly moved by the moment, the supernova from North Carolina hugged first Gill, then Joe Diffie as he was welcomed  as the newest member of The Grand Ole Opry. The sold-out-on-a-Tuesday night crowd was on its feet and cheering. Combs, clearly grateful for a year of much momentum and music, put on his acoustic guitar, and—alone at the mic—explained what the last year has felt like. Being able to share it with his fans, his family, his friends, his record company and businesspeople, he paused and took the moment in, acknowledging his world just became a little bigger. To reflect his gratitude, he tilted his head and began thoughtfully playing the notes for “This One’s For You.”

Opry General Manager Sally Williams stood in the wings beaming, alongside managers Chris Kappy and Lynn Oliver-Cline, Sony chief Randy Goodman and COO/EVP Ken Robold, Big Machine Label Group Chair Scott Borchetta, Big Machine Publishing head Mike Molinard, and CAA’s John Huie, Rod Essig, Aaron Tannenbaum and Darrin Murphy. Broadcast live in WSM-AM, the Opry remains country music’s most visible link to both its history and its fans –and none of that meaning was lost.

With his band looking every bit as awestruck and reverent, it was clear Combs’ superstardom represents the new guard embracing country’s history in a tangible knowing way. It’s also something they built in the bars, long before labels and publishers, night after night that returns the Grand Ole Opry to its roots of drawing from the fans as much as for the fans.

Seen above wishing they were on a classier website than ours (l-r) Goodman; manager Sophia Sansone, Make Wake Artists; Oliver-Cline of River House Artists; Combs; Williams; SMN COO/EVP Ken Robold; Kappy of Make Wake Artists.

Check out Holly's recent interview with Luke here.