Watch Michael Ray's Stunning Merle Haggard Cover at the Opry

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Michael Ray burst onto the scene in 2015 with "Kiss You In The Morning." His first and only No. 1 pegged the singer as another pretty bro singing hookup songs, but be prepared to be surprised.

Ray recently covered Merle Haggard's "Today I Started Loving You Again" at the Grand Ole Opry, and he absolutely nails it. The performance gives Ray's vocal a chance to shine, and the Grand Ole Opry band doesn't disappoint.

In this performance recorded at the end of May, the 28-year old lays the country accent on thick, but it works.

Ray got his start on The Next: Fame Is At Your Doorstep. The reality show featured only one season, but Ray won it. That opened the door for John Rich's tutelage, which ultimately landed Ray a record deal.

He's since released three singles, including "Real Men Love Jesus" and the most recent, "Think A Little Less."

Sporting a throaty baritone, Ray has the right tools for big success if he chooses the right songs. There can only be one Merle Haggard, but maybe he should take some inspiration from the late legend for his next project.

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Watch Michael Ray's Stunning Merle Haggard Cover at the Opry