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Grand Ole Opry Celebrates 95 Years of Country Music

Brad Paisley Marks 20 Years as Member, Co-Hosts Special With Blake Shelton

Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton, from left, will co-host the “Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music” special at 9 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 14, on NBC. (Photo Provided)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Grand Ole Opry members Brad Paisley and Blake Shelton will serve as co-hosts for “Grand Ole Opry: 95 Years of Country Music,” honoring the iconic Nashville show and the incredible country stars that call it home. The two-hour special is set to air Sunday, Feb. 14, at 9 p.m. on NBC.

Later that same week, Paisley will celebrate his 20th anniversary as a Grand Ole Opry member.

Shelton is marking 10 years as a member.

For almost a century, the Grand Ole Opry has celebrated the past, present and future of country music, showcasing a mix of country legends and the contemporary chart-toppers who have followed in their footsteps. In that same spirit, the anniversary special brings together artists from across generations who share a passion and reverence for the Opry. With country music stars not only performing their biggest hits, but also covering classics from some of the Opry’s most famous members, it will be an unforgettable night of music. In addition to the incredible performances, the Opry will open its archives that span a period of over nine decades and include interviews, performances and appearances by country artists in all stages of their careers.

An Ohio Valley native from Glen Dale, Paisley has earned his place in country music history as one of the genre’s most talented and decorated male solo artists. Over the past 20 years, his songwriting and unmatched showmanship have won him numerous awards, including three Grammy Awards, two American Music Awards, 14 Country Music Association Awards and 15 Academy of Country Music Awards, among many others. A member of the Grand Ole Opry since Feb. 17, 2001, Paisley has written 21 of his 24 No. 1 hits, and in 2008 became the first artist to achieve 10 consecutive Billboard Country Airplay No. 1 singles. The 2010 CMA Entertainer of the Year’s past works have amassed over 3.9 billion on-demand streams. Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams-Paisley, are co-founders of nonprofit organization the Store, a free-referral based grocery store that aims to empower low-income individuals and families in the Nashville area.

Country Music Association’s 2012 Entertainer of the Year, five-time Male Vocalist of the Year winner and Grammy nominee, Shelton continues to add to his superstar status. With 28 No. 1 singles and a host of platinum-selling albums and singles, the Grand Ole Opry member (since Oct. 23, 2010) has earned a host of honors throughout his career, including multiple award wins from the Academy of Country Music, Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, the People’s Choice Awards, CMT and many more. He has teamed with Ryman Hospitality to open a string of Ole Red entertainment restaurant venues, a nod to his 2001 hit of the same name, in his Oklahoma hometown of Tishomingo, as well as Nashville, Gatlinburg, Tenn., and most recently Orlando, Fla., with more locations to follow. Shelton is soon to kick-off Season 20 of NBC’s Emmy-winning show “The Voice,” where he has coached seven winners.

As part of the show, Grammy-winning group Lady A was surprised with an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry during the group’s performance taping for the upcoming two-hour special. Opry member Darius Rucker extended the invitation to the trio on the Opry stage and announced their membership is effective immediately. The invitation and the group’s first performance as an Opry member will be shared with fans and viewers everywhere as very special moments during the television special. Lady A made their Opry debut on Nov. 2, 2007.

Introducing the group for their performance in the special, Rucker said, “What can you say about three friends of yours who together have become one of the biggest groups in Country Music history? Well, how about this? This trio are multi-platinum superstars, seven-time Grammy Award winners and seven-time CMA Award winners too. And I feel so honored to stand here in the Opry House and hope they accept the invitation I am thrilled to be offering them tonight. So, what do you say, Lady A? Would you like to become members of the Opry?”

“This is the best surprise we could ever ask for,” Lady A’s Hillary Scott said. “I’ve been coming here since I was a little girl so to say we are honored is an understatement. We are so truly grateful to officially be a part of this amazing family.”

For more information and images from the show, please visit the NBC Universal Media Village website at www.nbcumv.com.

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