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Chris Young is up for Grand Ole Opry Moment of the Year at the Rare Country Awards for his unforgettable invitation to join the Opry family, and his priceless reaction to it. When Vince Gill came out onstage to ask him if he’d like to be an Opry member, Chris got so excited he gave Vince a bear hug and literally picked him up off the ground in the process!

A few weeks later, Chris was formally inducted into the Grand Ole Opry by his pal, Brad Paisley. Brad told Chris, “You are part of something that is living and breathing. You will have a home on this stage for the rest of your life. You can come out and sing any song you want to sing, and we will be so proud to have you here. I love you, and I can’t wait to have you here.”

RELATED: Chris Young gets a special invitation from Vince Gill

After Brad presented Chris with his Opry membership trophy, Chris kept his remarks to the audience very brief.

He said, “I don’t know exactly what I’m supposed to say. Something not stupid, probably. So, the two best words I can think of [are], ‘Thank you.'”

RELATED: Chris Young gives fans an exclusive look at the release of “Losing Sleep”

Chris was obviously overwhelmed with the enormity of the moment. We caught up with him a few weeks after that induction ceremony, and he was still on cloud nine.

Chris tells Rare Country, “It’s still amazing. I still haven’t come down off that high, and there’s so much going on over the last couple weeks. Everyone is going, how are you keeping up with stuff? I’m like, ‘Honestly, I’m not.”

The full weight of the moment hit Chris as he walked off the Opry stage holding his member trophy in his hand.

“It was after the first performance,” Chris recalls. “We kind of went straight back into something, and I stopped for a minute and just thought about it. It was like, ‘They can never take that back. I’m a member now.’ I guess they could if I really messed up. Y’all didn’t hear that,” he adds with a laugh. “It was just such a cool experience for me. That was one of those once-in-a-lifetime things, and definitely a bucket list thing for a lot of artists. Just incredible.”

Chris’ Opry induction coincided with the release of his brand-new album, “Losing Sleep,” which features the hit title track. He’ll kick off the “Losing Sleep Tour” Jan. 10 in Indanapolis with special guests LANCO and Kane Brown.

You can get a little preview of that trek as LANCO and Kane will perform along with RaeLynn at the first-ever Rare Country Awards concert event coming up Dec. 14. The show will be livestreamed that night with this year’s Rare Country Awards winners announced throughout the show.

Voting is open at RareCountryAwards.com through Dec. 13.

Hunter Kelly is a senior correspondent for Rare Country. Follow him on Twitter @Hunterkelly.
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