"This has been a really emotional day for me," Trisha Yearwood told reporters before celebrating two decades of Opry membership Tuesday night.
"...Maybe more emotional than when I was inducted..." Trisha continued. "And I think it's because I'm 54 years old now... As much as I thought I got it then, I really get it now."
Indeed, Trisha was in tears by the time she walked onto the stage, after a surprise introduction by Emmylou Harris during which the Country Music Hall of Famer called her a "shining star... kind, generous, warm and gracious to a fault."
The Georgia native began her set with the Patsy Cline classic, "Sweet Dreams," explaining she was wearing a necklace given to her at her induction by the legend's family.
The two-time CMA Female Vocalist of the Year then brought out Ricky Skaggs, the Opry member who originally asked her to join the cast. Trisha proved to be as starstruck as she'd earlier professed, forgetting the words to his song, "Two Highways," early on and asking him to start over.
Next, the 1992 hit "Wrong Side of Memphis" was a fitting choice, since it name-checks the Opry in its lyrics.
After recorded good wishes from Kelly Clarkson, Reba, Brenda Lee, and Garth Brooks, Trisha revealed her husband was indeed there in person. Garth joined her for their classic country duet, "Whiskey to Wine."
Trisha closed with a full-circle moment, dedicating her debut #1 to her greatest Opry "cheerleader," the late Porter Wagoner.
"Every time I would do the Opry," she recalled, "if I didn't plan to sing 'She's in the 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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