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Little Big Town Inducted Into Grand Ole Opry

Little Big Town
Terry Wyatt, Getty Images

Little Big Town‘s first-ever public performance together was at the Grand Old Opry in 1999, and fifteen years later, the group were formally inducted into the Opry family on Friday (Oct. 17).

The group, made up of Karen Fairchild, Kimberly Schlapman, Jimi Westbrook and Phillip Sweet, were invited to join the Opry in an emotional invitation from Reba McEntire at the beginning of October, and the huge milestone finally took place. It was a special evening, with LBT opening their set with ‘Bring It on Home,’ which they played back in their Opry debut, accompanied by only a borrowed guitar and grand dreams.

LBT were inducted into the Opry by members Little Jimmy Dickens and Vince Gill, with Opry Vice President and General Manager Pete Fisher on hand to present the group with their Opry Member Award.

“The word ‘family’ really means something out here. It really does,” Gill told the group. “You’ll make friends like I have with this man right here,” he continued, nodding to Dickens. “You’ll be so be blessed by the friends you’ll make out here, and they’ll last your entire life. Welcome to the family, and remember to come here as often as you can.”

To end the magical evening, the Grammy-winning group invited Gill to join them on their final song, ‘Why Me,’ made famous by Kris Kristofferson. The sold-out audience treated the performers to a standing ovation as Gill proudly said, “Welcome them home!”

“It feels like home,” Sweet reflected later. “It’s family.”

“This feels like the biggest moment of our lives and our career,” Schlapman said, and Fairchild added, “I’m so excited about sharing this moment with the band. We’ve been through the highest of highs together, and this is sure to be the highest. This is as good as it gets.”

LBT are up for Vocal Group of the Year in the upcoming 2014 CMA Awards, and they are the current reigning champs in the category.

NEXT: Book Takes Fans 'Backstage at the Grand Ole Opry'

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