Combs could hardly get out a word after the grand reveal, aside from "Holy cow!" and "Are you serious? Because if you're not serious, that'd be really mean." Hopefully, the Opry brass accepted either of those as a yes.
It was a genuine show of emotion from a lifelong country music fan with memories of riding from his native North Carolina to Nashville to see his honky-tonk heroes in person.
"To me, it's the pinnacle of achievement in the genre," Combs told Rolling Stone Country. "The sold-out shows are unbelievable and the Number One songs are unbelievable, but this is Number One career stuff -- this and getting engaged are one and two."
The invite and future induction fulfills a goal Combs set for himself in 2016 after debuting on the Opry stage.
Combs, age 29, will become the second youngest member behind prior inductee Kelsea Ballerini, 25. If the Opry wants younger people on stage and in the audience, Combs is an ideal choice. Old souls with a reverence for Opry tradition can't rationally dismiss him as "pop," while radio listeners view him as a major player in modern country music.