Grand Ole Opry Celebrates CMA Music Fest
Last week's annual CMA Music Fest brought hundreds of artists to Nashville. But while most of the shows occurred in downtown Music City, the Grand Ole Opry got plenty of star action as well.
The week kicked off on Tuesday, June 3, with two performances at the Opry Plaza by Charlie Worsham and Chris Janson, followed by two shows inside the Grand Ole Opry. Artists including Trace Adkins, Bill Anderson, Carrie Underwood, Terri Clark, the Oak Ridge Boys, Jennifer Nettles and Josh Turner all performed for two sold-out crowds.
Wednesday, June 4 kicked off the Opry Originals signing sessions, with artists including Little Big Town, Scotty McCreery, Montgomery Gentry and Craig Morgan, among others, appearing throughout the week to sign autographs for their loyal fans.
Thursday, June 5, which was the official start of the CMA Music Fest, included the sixth annual Guitars of the Stars auction. Co-hosted by McCreery and 650 AM WSM host Bill Cody, several artists -- including Luke Bryan, Reba, Hunter Hayes and Underwood -- signed one-of-a-kind guitars, with proceeds benefiting the Opry Trust Fund. Underwood's guitar, featuring a gold and silver motif designed by Nashville artist Amanda Sears, earned the highest bid of $25,000.
The Opry House continued hosting star-studded performances on both Friday and Saturday, June 6 and 7. In addition to the evening shows, a special Opry at the Ryman matinee was held on Saturday afternoon, which included appearances by Billy Ray Cyrus, Charles Esten, Sara Evans, Rascal Flatts, Robin Meade, Lorrie Morgan, Charley Pride, Mel Tillis and others.
The annual City of Hope Celebrity Softball Game also occurred on Saturday, as the Grand Ole Opry team members, including Jana Kramer, Chase Rice, Chuck Wicks, Sarah Darling and Esten, took on the iHeart Radio team, which included Florida Georgia Line, Sara Evans, Alison Sweeney, Danielle Bradbery and Dustin Lynch. While the Opry team came out ahead, with a final score of 13 -11, the real winner was City of Hope, a research and treatment center for cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Proceeds from the game benefited the hospital, with more than $2 million raised for the cause over the years.
In addition to the Opry action, hundreds of artists took over stages all over Nashville for free shows during the day, with some of country music's biggest stars, including Underwood, Lambert, Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Eric Church, Keith Urban and Brad Paisley performing to sold out crowds at LP Field each night.
Tickets for the 2015 CMA Music Fest are already on sale at a discounted price, and available for purchase here.