Scotty McCreery Stunned by Huge Honor: ‘One of the Greatest Nights of My Life’

Scotty McCreery

Heavy/Getty "American Idol" winner and country star Scotty McCreery

When Scotty McCreery performed at the Grand Ole Opry’s Christmas show on December 3, 2023, he didn’t realize one of the gifts onstage was meant for him. The “American Idol” winner was stunned when country superstar Garth Brooks handed him a gold box with a big red bow — and invited him to become the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry.

The honor is reserved for only a select few country artists, and has been a lifelong dream for McCreery who was blown away by the invitation. On Instagram, he called it “one of the greatest nights of my life.”

Here’s what you need to know:

Scotty McCreery Says He’s Been Dreaming of Becoming a Grand Ole Opry Member Since He Was Little

As McCreery, 30, and Brooks, 61, joked around a bit onstage, and McCreery,30, said that he’d do “whatever Garth Brooks says” and finally started to unwrap it the box.

But Brooks then stopped him and said, “The gift inside isn’t here yet. Tonight is merely an invitation.”

It was at that point that it dawned on McCreery what was happening and his jaw dropped.

“This is a Christmas present to the Grand Ole Opry,” Brooks said. “We would love to invite you to be the newest member of the Opry.”

“Holy cow,” McCreery exclaimed.

After catching his breath, McCreery said, “Yes, I would love to. I grew up listening to your records Garth and you’re a part of what made me want to do this for a living and didn’t think that dream would become a reality, but it is because of all of y’all sitting in this house tonight. God bless y’all.”

“When I got started doing this people asked, ‘what are your goals,'” McCreery told the audience as he held back tears. “And I’d say, ‘One day I’d like to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry.'”

The next morning, McCreery wrote on Instagram, “Last night was one of the greatest nights of my life. I wish I could tell that 10 year old boy singing The Dance on the edge of his bed at 2 in the morning, that one day @garthbrooks would invite him to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry! Still doesn’t feel real. Thank you @opry, for the honor of a lifetime🙏🏼 Proud to be a part of the family.”

Grand Ole Opry is Very Selective About Who’s Invited to Join Its ‘Family’

According to the Opry’s website, the historic Nashville venue “doesn’t simply pass out invitations to the biggest stars with the most hits.”

“Opry management looks for a musical and a generational balance,” it says. “Opry membership requires a passion for country music’s fans, a connection to the music’s history, and it requires commitment – even a willingness to make significant sacrifices to uphold that commitment.”

In 2011, McCreery was only 17 when he won “Idol” and became the youngest male artist to have a debut album top the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart, according to Southern Living. He has since sold more than four million albums and achieved five consecutive number one country hits.

A date for his induction into the Opry will be announced at a later date.

Multiple “Idol” alums wrote on Instagram to congratulate McCreery on the honor.

Fellow season 10 finalist Hailey Reinhart wrote, “So happy for you Scotty boy! Congrats🤍”

James Durbin, who placed fourth that season, wrote, “Absolutely incredible. I’m so happy for your journey brother!! Always cheering you on 🙏🏽🎤🖤”

Lauren Alaina, who became close friends with McCreery during season 10 of “American Idol” and was the runner-up when he won, was inducted into the Opry on February 12, 2022.