Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood Stun Crowd at Her 20th Opry Anniversary
Trisha Yearwood pulled out all the stops when she celebrated her 20th anniversary as a member of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville on Tuesday night (March 12). The country star invited several very special guests to share her big night, including a surprise appearance from her husband, Garth Brooks.
The first surprise of the night came in the form of Emmylou Harris, who Yearwood did not know was on hand. She introduced Yearwood, praising her "stunning voice and beautiful, radiant smile" and calling the singer "kind, generous, warm and gracious ...Trisha has been a true friend to me, stepping up when I needed someone to step in through some pretty dark days, and I will never forget her for that."
Yearwood was already wiping away tears as she stepped to the famous circle in the middle of the Opry stage, and she joked about it, saying, "It's not fair to start that way" after embracing Harris.
Yearwood began her set by performing Patsy Cline's "Sweet Dreams." She was wearing a necklace that once belonged to Cline, and she explained its special significance in a press conference backstage before the show.
"20 years ago, Patsy's daughter Julie and Charlie Dick came out and gave me a plaque that had a necklace that belonged to Patsy Cline," she recalled. "So I brought it tonight. It's framed, but I'm gonna break it out of the glass tonight and wear it."
Ricky Skaggs officially invited Yearwood to join the Opry twenty years ago, and she asked him to join her Tuesday night for a duet performance of "Two Highways." Yearwood was so nervous that she blew the lyrics partway into the first verse, and she sheepishly asked Skaggs to stop and start over, telling the crowd, "I know the song. But I looked over and it's Ricky Skaggs." They recovered to deliver a spellbindingly flawless performance that rendered the enchanted fans entirely silent as they sang.
Yearwood also sang "Wrong Side of Memphis," and then the Opry presented a series of video tributes from artists whose schedules would not permit them to be on hand, including Kelly Clarkson, Reba McEntire, Brenda Lee and surprisingly, her husband Garth Brooks.
"That last guy was cute," Yearwood quipped before surprising the crowd with the news that, in fact, her husband was on hand after all. Brooks entered the stage to a thunderous ovation that stilled to a hush as he and Yearwood gave an acoustic performance of "Whiskey to Wine" that was another of the evening's high points, drawing another huge ovation afterward.
Yearwood finished off the night with a performance of her career-launching hit "She's in Love With the Boy," which she dedicated to Porter Wagoner.
"Porter was such a cheerleader for me at the Opry, and made it happen," she recalled to journalists before the show. "Every time I would do the Opry, if I didn't plan to sing 'She's in Love With the Boy,' he would come out and say, 'Sing the one that brung ya.' That was Porter's thing. So it will forever be for Porter, every time I sing it."
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