Addressing Janson on stage, Brooks said, “Driving in here tonight, I passed a billboard that says ‘Welcome To The Family.’ Family is a great name for this place. Another great name for this place is church. That’s what it’s all about. Because if any time you are at your lowest, these people are going to be here for you. And they’ll expect the same out of you, and they’ll get the same out of you.”
Handing Janson his Opry member award, Brooks added, “Chris, it is my honor to welcome you to the family. This will be– no matter how many times you look back on it– the greatest night of your music career.”
“How do you not cry on a night like this?” Janson began. “To know me is to know I really, truly love the Grand Ole Opry. … This will be a moment I will never forget. … Thanks for making my dreams come true, and thanks for buying a ticket to the Opry to see it happen! I hope you come back a million times! I’ll buy the ticket for ya. I don’t even care. I love you that much!”
Janson’s surprise membership invitation from Opry member Keith Urban occurred during his sold-out concert at the Ryman Auditorium in February.
“Chris Janson showed us all again tonight why we are so excited to welcome him into the Opry family,” said Opry General Manager Sally Williams. “Like he has during every Opry appearance he’s made, he exuded passion and enthusiasm for this iconic show he loves so much. Whether he’s playing his own hits, songs he’s written for fellow artists, or his all-time country favorites, he brings Opry audiences to their feet with his performances. Backstage, it’s amazing to watch him connect with both the artists who have come before him and those who are following in his footsteps. We could not be more thrilled about the excitement, loyalty, and great music he will bring to our Opry family for years to come.”