Mark Wills Welcomed as Newest Member of Grand Ole Opry
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (January 11, 2019) –Longtime Opry favorite Mark Wills became the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry tonight during a sold-out performance at the Ryman Auditorium. Craig Morgan, a 10-year Opry member, officially welcomed Wills to the Opry family.
“It’s a great honor to be a part of this family as the cornerstone of our format and I’m proud to be here to welcome you,” said Morgan. And as a longtime friend he jokingly added, “And I love knowing I will forever be embedded in your mind as part of your memory from tonight!”
“I thought many, many times what it would be like to have a good friend be the one who would induct me as a member of the Opry,” shared Wills. “Craig, you are a hero of mine and I will forever be indebted to you.” Prior to his induction moment Wills reflected on getting “to make my own piece of history and it couldn’t happen at a better place than the Ryman.”
“Vince Gill said it so well when he invited Mark to join the family last month, citing Mark as being one of the Opry’s great supporters and a proponent of what the Opry stands for,” began Sally Williams, senior vice president, programming and artist relations/Opry general manger. “We are glad to call him family, and look forward to Mark entertaining Opry audiences and sharing his passion for the Opry for years to come.”
Also appearing on the show tonight was Arista Records Carlton Anderson, who made his Grand Ole Opry debut. Among those coming to the Opry soon are Bobby Bones, Terri Clark, Jason Crabb, Vince Gill, Chris Janson, Dustin Lynch, William Michael Morgan, Eric Paslay, Neyla Pekarek, Ricky Skaggs, The Steel Woods, Steve Wariner, and more.
About Mark Wills
Mark Wills is a multi-platinum, 16-time Billboard single chart-topper, and ACM Award-winning artist. He has captivated fans for over two decades. He achieved his first charting-topping success at age of 23 and has maintained longevity in the music business that most artists can only dream of. His mission is to create Country music filled with depth and meaningful substance and to create lasting memories through his lyrics. Wills has released a total of seven albums. It was “Jacob’s Ladder” that jump-started his career in 1996. The single was followed by a string of Top 10 smashes; “Places I’ve Never Been” (1997), “I Do (Cherish You)” (1998), “Don’t Laugh at Me” (1998), “Wish You Were Here” (1999), “She’s in Love” (1999), and “Back at One” (2000).” With its powerful message, “Don’t Laugh at Me” garnered nominations from the CMA for single, song, and video of the year in 1998. In 2001, Wills released his fourth album Loving Every Minute, which included a duet with labelmate and platinum-selling artist, Jamie O’Neal. His Greatest Hits followed in 2002, featuring the huge radio hit “19 Somethin’.” He released the album And the Crowd Goes Wild in 2003. In 2007, a collection of his greatest hits called The Definitive Collection was released followed by Familiar Stranger in 2008. In 2011, Wills released a patriotic album Looking For America, his way of giving back being an avid supporter of the US Military he frequently entertains. One of Wills’ greatest and most recent honors came on December 21, 2018, when Country superstar, Vince Gill invited him to join the Grand Ole Opry. The induction set to take place on January 11, 2019. Wills resides in Atlanta, Georgia with his wife of 22 years, Kelly and two daughters. In his spare time, when he’s not writing, recording or touring, he is an avid outdoorsman and enjoys spending time with his girls. Wills is a dedicated parent, philanthropist, outdoorsman, and jokester; but, more than anything else, he is an artist and entertainer who helped to create the foundation for what country music is today!