Mark Wills Invited to Join the Grand Ole Opry
Wills' Opry induction invitation came at the end of the evening. As Wills attempted to take a selfie with Gill onstage, Gill began the ask: "We at the Opry would like to ask you to become the next member of the Grand Ole Opry," Gill told a surprised Wills, who welled up and dropped to his knees.
"This boy has been the greatest supporter and proponent of what the Opry stands for," Gill continued, still embracing a crying Wills. "Now I like him even more -- he's a crybaby like me!"
Wills, of course, accepted. He closed the show with a performance of his song "Don't Laugh at Me," with numerous Opry members joining him.
Wills began his country music career in 1996 and started playing the Grand Ole Opry shortly thereafter. An ACM Top New Male Vocalist winner, Wills has noticed eight Top 10 hits, including "19 Something," a seven-week No. 1 hit. He will officially join the Grand Ole Opry on Jan. 11, 2019.
Friday night's Grand Ole Opry show was also a celebration of Jimmy Capps' 60th anniversary with the Opry. The Musicians Hall of Fame member, now part of the Opry staff band, first played the Grand Ole Opry as a teenager, with the Louvin Brothers, in December of 1958. In his honor, the Opry has re-named the band room backstage at the Grand Ole Opry House the Jimmy Capps Music Room.
The Grand Ole Opry Through the Years