Rhonda Vincent was invited to be the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry on Feb. 28, 2020. Opry member Jeannie Seely surprised Vincent with the invitation following Vincent's performance of her bluegrass hit "Like I Could," which was co-written by Seely.
Vincent's induction ceremony, originally slated for March 24, 2020, got put on the back-burner after COVID-19 halted music performed for full-capacity audiences. Over eight months after Vincent's originally-scheduled big night had come and gone, the Opry announced Feb. 6, 2021 as the make-up date.
Fellow bluegrass lover Dierks Bentley made Vincent's Opry membership official.
"I'll never forget the night that our mutual friend Marty Stuart made me an official member of the Opry and I'm so pleased to get to do the same for you tonight," Bentley said. "Rhonda, you are now an official member of the Grand Ole Opry! I know you will carry the Opry banner proudly wherever you go."
Vincent accepted while joking about what's got to be the longest stretch between an Opry member's invitation and induction.
"It's been 343 days, seven hours, three minutes, and five seconds," Vincent said. "This is a night I will never forget and will cherish the rest of my life. I am proof that dreams really do come true."
Clearly shocked by the Feb. 28, 2020, invitation, Vincent asked Seely if she was serious.
"100% percent yes. Oh my gosh! I grew up listening to the Opry," Vincent said. "Thank you dear God!"
Following the invitation, Vincent was joined onstage by Seely, Connie Smith and Sharon and Cheryl White to perform "Those Memories."
"Throughout her award-winning career, Rhonda has always made time to visit us at the Opry," Opry Vice President and Executive Producer Dan Rogers said. "She is a force of nature on stage, and a friend to fellow artists and fans alike behind the scenes. Her songs have a home among the many styles of music we celebrate at the Opry for the rest of her career."
Vincent began performing at the age of five as a member of her family band in Missouri, the Sally Mountain Show. She released her album Back Home Again in 2000 with her band Rhonda Vincent and the Rage. She released The Storm Still Rages in 2001, which she followed with 2003's One Step Ahead, 2005's Ragin' Live, All American Bluegrass Girl in 2006 and 2008's Good Thing Going.
Vincent has won seven Female Vocalist of the Year awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association. She won the International Bluegrass Music Association's Entertainer of the Year award in 2001.
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