Newcomer Ashley McBryde makes a stunning Opry debut Photo courtesy of the Grand Ole Opry
Photo courtesy of the Grand Ole Opry

New talent Ashley McBryde stunned the crowd during her Grand Ole Opry debut with a song she wrote for the occasion. “Girl Goin’ Nowhere” was inspired by cruel words from a former teacher who tried to squash Ashley’s dreams of a music career.

But she received nothing but support and a standing ovation from the Opry crowd, which shouted encouragement as the rising star began to cave into the deeply emotional lyrics.

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Certainly, playing the Opry would make any young artist emotional, but the experience was truly life changing for Ashley, who grew up in Arkansas dreaming of playing the Opry. In fact, it was one of the major dreams that drove her to make the move to Nashville almost a decade ago.

“If I hadn’t always dreamed of debuting at the Grand Ole Opry, I don’t think I’d be worth much as a musician,” Ashley has said. “It was sort of like this faraway fairy tale land for a long time when I was little — knowing that that’s where all the greats were.”

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Speaking of the priceless circle of wood taken from the Grand Ole Opry’s original home at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium Ashley admitted, “It’s really hard to think about all the people that have stood here. It’s like standing in your dad’s boots when you were little. You know it feels right, but there’s just a lot of space to fill. It’s terrifying, but it feels like coming home, too.”

She’s clearly a girl going somewhere. Ashley is now nominated for Opry Moment of the Year at the Rare Country Awards, and it’s up to you to pick the winner. Voting begins Nov. 13 at and goes until Dec. 13. Winners will be revealed during a livestreamed concert on Dec. 14.

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